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Solar street lights to be installed in Makkah

Makkah Municipality has announced that it will install a solar-powered street lighting system in the Saudi Arabian city

The first stage would cover one-third of the Crown Prince Plan nine and a total area of about 43mn square metre. The project will commence within four months and take about 12 months to complete.

An official said the project was put up for developer and investor bids to provide the city with 30,000 to 40,000 light poles powered by solar energy. The project would be implemented all over the city if the experiment proved successful.

Amin bin Abdulqader Naebalharam, chairman of the Solar Energy Committee, said such a project would contribute to reducing costs for companies providing street lighting equipment, in addition to cables, fittings and other requirements, especially in remote areas.

"The poles would have panels to absorb and store sun's energy during the day and convert it to light at night. This would reduce consumption of petroleum that was the basis for generating electricity," Naebalharam said.

"We expect to receive good offers as the cost for providing electricity generated by solar energy are decreasing every day. This also applies to equipment and the efficiency of equipment used for that purpose which are in constant improvement and development. In the long-term, we hope that we reduce cost and improve quality."