Girls go solar in Saudi university

The installed grid-connected 20.15 kWp rooftop photovoltaic system and the team behind it. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 04 December 2017
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Girls go solar in Saudi university

JEDDAH: Effat University’s female senior students on Monday participated in the first solar energy training program to install a rooftop solar photovoltaic system by Saudi female engineers.
Malak Al-Nory, dean of graduate studies and research, said that the solar energy training program was a joint effort between the university and Altaqaa Alternative Solutions Company, which aims to train students and faculty members to operate a self-sufficient system.
“We’ve had several companies offer to install solar roofs for us, but we wanted our students to experience it firsthand, to partake in designing and installation. We’re looking for many studies to be conducted as an aftermath of this program.”
The installed solar system alongside an electric grid helps generate power for the deanship of graduate studies and research building. The solar energy program cost Effat University SR150,000 ($40,000) to install.
Wajd Al-Mehdar, an electrical engineering student at Effat, expressed her gratitude and enthusiasm to Arab News. “I’m so proud to be part of it — to be given a chance by the university to do something not many girls get to do. There were almost no obstacles as Altaqaa provided us with thorough training sessions along with equipment and information.”
Effat University is the first university in Saudi Arabia that offers women the opportunity to obtain a master’s in energy engineering. It shows Effat’s support for the objectives of Vision 2030 to ascertain “a sustainable non-oil dependent future for the Kingdom,” said Dr. Haifa Jamal Al-Lail, president of Effat University.


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