Planning is at an advanced stage for a solar cooling system at Qatar’s Airport City in Doha, next to the new Hamad International airport (formerly New Doha International Airport (NDIA)), the MEED Sustainable Cooling Infrastructure Conference was told 8 October.

Airport City, Doha

Airport City (shown by the arrows) in Doha, next to Hamad International Airport

The system will be based on concentrated solar power (CSP) units that will supply energy to an absorption chiller.

“The CSP collector area will be 35,000 square metres,” Veda Baliga, principal sustainability consultant at WSP Middle East, said. “The mirror area will be two thirds of that.”

Baliga said she believed the solar cooling project, if approved, will be the largest attempted in the Middle East.

Netherlands-based OMA was appointed in March to complete the masterplan for Airport City, a 10-square-kilometre development, where 200,000 people will live and work. OMA’s masterplan calls for four circular districts along a spine parallel to Hamad International’s runways.

Phase one of the 30-year masterplan will be mostly complete in time for Qatar’s hosting of the Fifa 2022 World Cup.

The opening for Hamad International has experienced several delays. Originally due to open last year, the date was put back to 1 April this year, before again being delayed. The airport is now due to open early next year.