Passivhaus & Standard house_External View-mediaQatar Solar Technologies (QSTec) presented Barwa with the first of 136 solar modules that will be used to power Qatar’s Passivhaus-Baytna project.

When installed, the SolarWorld-QSTec photovoltaic monocrystalline silicon panels will provide all of Passivhaus’ electricity requirements, with excess power being exported back into Kahramaa’s power grid.

Khalid K Al Hajri, QSTec Chairman and CEO, presented the solar module to Ahmad Abdulla Al Abdulla, Deputy Group CEO of Barwa, in a ceremony at QSTec’s West Bay Headquarters. The QSTec-supplied high efficiency panels have an installed power of 34 kilowatt peak and will produce around 58,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. Using this solar power system to exclusively supply Barwa’s Passivhaus will help avoid approximately 35 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year.

Qatar, with one of the highest solar irradiation rates in the world, has recently announced plans to utilise the sun’s rays as a sustainable energy resource by installing 1.8 gigawatts of solar power over the next few years.

Commenting on his organisation’s plans, Khalid K Al Hajri said:

‘QSTec aims to bring solar into the mainstream of Qatar’s energy mix. Solar is recognised as Qatar’s primary renewable energy technology and an essential part of our sustainable energy future. Barwa’s Passivhaus-Baytna project will demonstrate that, by using solar and environmental technologies, you can build quality homes and buildings, complete with all the latest modern conveniences, while substantially reducing our carbon footprint and protecting the environment for future generations.’

The Passivhaus-Baytna project is unique for Qatar and the region, where two identical 225 square metre villas are being built side-by-side in Barwa City to compare the energy use and environmental footprint of each dwelling. A regular villa is being constructed to a one-star Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) standard while the Passivhaus villa, with all the comforts of a modern home, will consume 50% less energy and water, resulting in a halving of carbon footprint.

2QSTec, Barwa and an array of Qatar’s leading companies and scientific organisations are involved in the Passivhaus initiative. The villas will be ready for occupation later this year. Families with similar characteristics will be selected to live in each villa, and their energy use compared over time, to showcase the energy savings and impact between the two houses on the environment.