Saudi Arabia power firm invests in robotic solar panel cleaning tech
Cepco has invested in cleaning startup Nomadd Desert Solar Solutions
Saudi Arabia-based power and distribution construction company Cepco has invested in the kingdom's Nomadd Desert Solar Solutions, a photovoltaic cleaning (PV) company that began as a startup three years ago.
According to a statement by strategy consulting firm Apricum, which advised Nomadd on the transaction, the investment will support the cleaning company’s current project pipeline and further strengthen its growth ambitions.
Apricum said the group’s “patented PV cleaning robot system is ideally placed to serve the burgeoning growth of PV installations in dusty environments, such as the Mena region”.
As the region makes concerted efforts to boost its solar power capabilities – with the UAE and Saudi leading the GCC’s efforts – one problem that remains is the build-up of dust on panels, which considerably decreases the amount of solar energy that each unit can harness.
Speaking on the news, Dr Nour Al Husayni, Cepco's chief executive officer, said: “We are proud to join this young organisation which is revolutionising operations and maintenance (O&M) in the solar power industry. By investing in Nomadd, we at Cepco would like to show our full confidence in its technology and brilliant, dynamic team of engineers.”
Jos van der Hyden, co-founder and chief executive officer at Nomadd, added: “With Cepco's manufacturing and engineering expertise, we will be able to optimise and commercialise our patented robot technology, providing a superior, cost-effective cleaning solution to our customers.”
While they are the busiest markets for solar power in the GCC, the UAE and Saudi are not the only countries that will benefit from Nomadd's technology. September 2018 saw Kuwait’s National Petroleum Company list a limited tender for the construction of the country's planned Dabdaba solar energy project, part of the country's wider plan to produce 15% of its power needs from renewable sources.