Sultanate’s and Gulf region’s first large-scale commercial wind energy project, the Dhofar Wind Farm is expected to become operational by the third quarter of 2019 with all 13 turbines scheduled to be installed by March.
It will supply seven per cent of Dhofar governorate’s electricity demand, or enough clean energy to power an estimated 16,000 homes, while offsetting an estimated 110,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually, according to project developer Masdar, the Abu Dhabi energy company.
The project is fully financed by Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), and follows an agreement signed in 2014 between Masdar and the Rural Areas Electricity Company of Oman (Tanweer). A Masdar-led consortium including GE and Spain’s TSK is developing the wind farm.
Qais al Zakwani, executive director, Authority for Electricity Regulation (AER), visited the site in Dhofar last week to oversee the important developments of the ongoing project. Eng Saleh bin Nasser al Rumhi, chief executive officer of Tanweer said, “We are looking forward to the implementation of this initiative, which will be the first large-scale renewable project in Oman. Our team has worked closely with all the participants to bring this technology to the sultanate and to ensure knowledge transfer in the country.”
Once complete, the wind farm will be handed over to Tanweer, which will then operate the plant and supply the generated electricity to the local Dhofar power grid through an overhead power line managed by the Oman Electricity Transmission Company (OETC).
The Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP) will offtake the generated electricity from Tanweer in line with a power purchase agreement (PPA) signed on September 12, 2017. Dr Manar al Moneef, general manager, GE Renewable Energy for the Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey, said, “The wind farm features our 3.8-130 wind turbine customised to the desert conditions specific to the Gulf region.”
Mohamed Jameel al Ramahi, chief executive officer of Masdar, said, “As a global leader in wind energy technology, we are proud to support Oman in the realisation of its renewable energy ambitions, and deeply committed to our partnership with Abu Dhabi Fund for Development and the world-class consortium delivering this milestone wind energy project on schedule and to the highest operational standard.”
GE is providing the project’s 3.8MW wind turbines, while TSK is responsible for the rest of the wind farm’s infrastructure, which includes medium- and high-voltage substations and 13km of overhead transmission lines. Masdar is the project developer and implementation lead.