By Tom Arnold
US conglomerate signs up for Ecomagination Centre at $22bn carbon-neutral, zero waste project in UAE.
General Electric (GE) has been unveiled as the first tenant of the $22 billion Masdar City, the carbon-neutral, zero-waste project under construction on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi.
Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s multi-faceted future energy initiative, unveiled the US technology services conglomerate as an anchor partner in the city, which will be completely powered by renewable energy.
At the same time, Masdar also announced it had signed a collaborative agreement with the Seychelles government to develop renewable energy in the archipelago nation.
GE’s facility in Masdar City will house a centre focused on sustainable business solutions.
Known as the Ecomagination Centre, the 4,000 square metre unit will support the development of energy efficient products in the region and will raise awareness of energy conservation among residents of Masdar City.
The centre will also showcase GE’s latest technologies including wind, solar and other renewable energy products that will power the next generation electrical grid, water purification technology, and energy-efficient appliances for the home.
“This is truly a landmark partnership in the development of Masdar City because it will allow us to jointly develop, deploy, scale and market innovative solutions in renewable energy and sustainability.” Masdar CEO Sultan Al Jaber said.
“We are excited that GE will be an anchor tenant at Masdar City, as we aim to build the world’s Silicon Valley for clean technology”.
The agreement follows the signing last July of a strategic partnership between GE and Mubadala, the investment company behind Masdar.
The deal provides a framework for Masdar and GE to collaborate on the development of clean technology products, with Masdar able to leverage GE’s technological expertise with the aim of including these technologies in Masdar City.
“We see enormous opportunities to deploy sustainable technologies in the region, drive new innovation, and harness the region’s great interest and willingness in putting these technologies to work,” said Nabil Habayeb, president and CEO, GE Middle East and Africa.
The centre will be located near the Masdar Institute, Masdar’s graduate-level institution dedicated to academic research and study in the development and deployment of the future of energy.
Under Masdar’s collaborative agreement with the Seychelles government, feasibility studies and environmental impact assessments will be undertaken to determine the positioning of wind turbines in several locations around Mahé Island.
Preliminary studies have indicated that wind energy, solar energy and waste-to-energy options will be able to supply the island clean, renewable power.
An initial target of 18 megawatts of electricity generated from wind power is envisaged, which could initially supply at least 10-15 percent of Mahé Island’s total energy demand.
“This collaboration is a direct result of our leadership’s mandate of diversifying our renewable energy portfolio through strategic international partnerships,” said Al Jaber.
“Wind power is a viable, clean and renewable energy resource that must be harnessed to reduce our dependence on imported fuel and ensure the preservation of the Seychelles’ stunning natural beauty for future generations,” said James Alix Michel, President of the Republic of Seychelles.
Emission reductions resulting from the project will be monetized under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) framework of the Kyoto Protocol as Certified Emission Reduction (CER) credits.