NABIL ALKINDI

Dubai 2020 | SUSTAINABILITY | INTERVIEW

Through the delivery of holistic energy solutions, South Energy is set to be the market leader at the forefront of change.

Nabil Alkindi
BIOGRAPHY

Nabil Alkindi has spent over 16 years in senior management positions with leading developers in the UAE. Prior to his current role as CEO of Dubai South Properties, he was chief real estate office of Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), COO of Arabtec Holding, and chief development officer of Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) and Zaabel Investments, where he lead the design, development, and delivery of several prestigious and world-renowned projects. He has a bachelor's degree in architectural engineering. Some of the famous projects he has been a part of are Gate Avenue, The Louvre, Burj Khalifa, St. Regis Saadiyat Island, and The Zabeel Saray Hotel.

Can you outline some of your projects, and how the unique solar leasing model can be expanded upon in Dubai South and beyond?
As the adoption of solar projects gains momentum in the UAE and the region, South Energy remains committed to driving the adoption of clean and renewable energy sources to contribute to the achievement of sustainability goals. Our first solar project was completed recently, and the second, third, and fourth projects are currently progressing. Our projects in the pipeline, amounting to 50MWp, are in different stages, ranging from tender and award to design and execution. Based on a 360-degree approach, we embark on our energy projects after conducting a thorough assessment of the demand and supply landscape. We are currently installing a 2-MWp roof solar system for Dubai South headquarters and four freight complex buildings. Our commitment to corporate social responsibility and sustainability goals is reflected in every step, and our efforts to contribute to the diversification of the country's energy resources are in line with the UAE Vision 2021. In terms of projects being executed for other customers and sister companies, we continue to offer consultancy services to an array of customers on various aspects including design, feasibility, and commercial viability. We also help them decide whether to buy or lease.

Can you elaborate on the energy management system and command center you have implemented at Dubai South?
Rather than the conventional approach adopted by many companies that focus on the accounting of resources management and the implementation of measures before discovering their impacts on costs, we adopt a real-time analysis, and assess our performance through hourly, daily, and weekly profiles. Our district cooling plants and buildings are all integrated and are connected to one system. In addition, an hourly analysis of the performance gives us a holistic overview, thereby helping us monitor the equipment as well. Through the interconnectivity of all equipment in the building and the collection of data from more than 200,000 sensors, the system capitalizes on the potential of big data in building connectivity, which enhances its energy efficiency many folds. Through gaining a deep understanding of the building's performance by analyzing the data collected, we were able to make several necessary changes. As a result, we continue to enhance the system with the development of new infrastructure, including fiber-optic connectivity.

How does South Energy see its role in the energy sector, and what position do you want to take?
Through the delivery of holistic energy solutions that include district cooling, solar, and retrofits, South Energy is set to become a market leader that leads the change from the forefront. Our systems help customers monitor consumption rates and behaviors and enable them to make necessary changes and implement required measures. Our achievements and projects in this regard allow us to drive the change, paving the way for other energy companies to follow suit. Redesigning before the installation of large systems can add immense value to energy efficiencies. In view of the constant evolution of the market, companies will have to enhance their sustainability and efficiencies in order to survive. Unsustainable and inefficient companies will eventually be left behind if they are not willing to adapt to change and remodel themselves.

What are your next bold steps, and what is your vision for South Energy?
Besides moving forward with the existing projects, we are also challenging the market by building the first distributed centralized energy stations for district cooling. The development of the first two projects will prove that huge energy stations and district cooling plants are not necessary. The development of smaller modular plants will make the provision cheaper for customers. Simultaneously, we are developing solar solutions that offer more competitive rates, which will substantially drive adoption. Dubai is different from Europe with regard to its energy efficiency approach, as we focus more on not wasting resources and becoming sustainable.