Etihad Energy Services Company (Etihad ESCO), a company owned by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), has started a project to retrofit 243 buildings for local developer Wasl Properties to improve energy efficiency of the structures.

The work is being carried out by the local Smart Automation Energy (SmartAE), which specialises in the retrofitting of upgrading buildings. SmartAE was awarded a contract worth AED69m ($18.8m) to complete the works, which are scheduled to be completed within one year.

The project involves the installation of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels on the roofs of buildings, with a total capacity of 4.5MW to be installed. The work will also include replacing 8 compressor units for central cooling units, replacing 769 old air conditioning units and upgrading 618 units. The works will improve the central air conditioning systems in 230 buildings.

The project is part of Dubai’s plans to retrofit 30,000 buildings across the emirate in the first phase of the project to improve efficiency of buildings and reduce energy demand. The total project will cost an estimated AED30bn, and is expected to result in total financial savings of AED82bn.