Land has been allocated for a 500MW solar project in the Al-Kharsaah area of Qatar, according to the Qatar Electricity & Water Company (QEWC).

The first 500MW phase of the planned solar project will require a total investment of about $500m. Fahad Hamad al Mohannadi, general manager and managing director of QEWC, revealed to local media that local and international investors would be announced soon.

The project is due for completion in 2020.

While Qatar has fallen behind most of its GCC neighbours in pursuing renewable energy, it is planning to implement a programme to generate solar energy and also produce materials used for renewable energy facilities.

In March, Qatar Solar Technologies (QSTEC) produced the first polysilicon at its manufacturing facility at the Ras Laffan Industrial City site.

With an initial production capacity of 8,000 metric tonnes per annum (MTPA), the company is planning to expand to over 50,000 MTPA in the future. The commissioning of the plant marks a significant breakthrough in the region’s plans to produce components for solar energy. Polysilicon is a raw material used in 90 per cent of the world’s solar modules.

In addition to commissioning the polysilicon plant in Qatar, Qstec has made several investments in companies which produce key components for solar energy plants and systems. The company has invested in Germany’s SolarWorld, an integrated solar module manufacturer, and US-based Centrotherm, a semi-conductor technology company.