The 50-megawatt (MW) Dhofar wind farm in Oman has produced its first kilowatt-hour of electricity, marking a major milestone for the GCC region’s first utility-scale wind farm.
The landmark wind farm, which is fully funded by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the leading national entity for international development aid, was successfully connected to Oman’s electricity transmission grid last week during the commissioning of the project’s first wind turbine, which is now supplying clean power. The remaining 12 wind turbines will be commissioned, tested and connected to the grid in sequence, ensuring the start of commercial operations before the end of 2019.
The project is being implemented by Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) through an EPC consortium of GE Renewable Energy and Spain’s TSK. Once fully commissioned, the wind farm is expected to generate enough electricity to supply 16,000 homes – equivalent to 7 per cent of Dhofar Governorate’s total power demand – and will offset an estimated 110,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually while reducing reliance on natural gas for domestic power generation.
Speaking on the occasion, Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, said: “ADFD recognised early on the importance of funding renewable energy projects in driving the objectives of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs]. To advance sustainable energy solutions worldwide, ADFD has, since its inception, partnering with regional and international stakeholders, contributing to the production of about 2,584MW of renewable energy in different countries.”
He added: “Bringing Oman’s 50MW Dhofar Wind Farm online is yet another milestone in our 48-year development funding journey. Aimed at helping to achieve SDG 7 – Affordable and Clean Energy – this strategic venture also contributes to enhancing Oman’s energy output, while creating job opportunities and bolstering sustainable economic development in the country.”
Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar, said: “Masdar is proud to have developed the first utility-scale wind farm in the GCC. The successful connection of the first wind turbine to the electricity transmission grid at the Dhofar Wind Farm is a major step for Oman and the country’s ambitions to diversify its energy mix to include renewables. As a global leader in the development of commercially viable wind power, Masdar is committed to advancing clean-tech innovation both regionally and internationally by deploying the latest technologies at scale and enhancing their commercial viability.”
The Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP) will be the off-taker, or purchaser of the generated power, from the Rural Areas Electricity Company of Oman (Tanweer), which is responsible for operating the wind power plant upon completion.
GE Renewable Energy has provided the project’s 3.8MW wind turbines, which have been built to withstand Oman’s hot and arid desert conditions, while TSK is responsible for the remainder of the wind farm’s infrastructure and electrical transmission facilities connecting the plant to the grid.
Dr Manar Al-Moneef, President and CEO, Onshore Wind, MENA and Turkey of GE Renewable Energy, said: “We have completed a huge milestone in the execution of the Dhofar Wind Farm by producing this first kilowatt-hour, first out of the 50MW that will power Oman’s Dhofar Governorate with clean energy. Wind power is growing around the world and it is becoming a reliable and affordable source of green energy. We are proud to be working with Masdar and our partners to bring this technology to Oman and build the first utility-scale wind farm in the country.”
Earlier this month, the consortium of EDF Renewables and Masdar announced that they had reached financial close on the 400MW Dumat Al Jandal wind project in Saudi Arabia, the country’s first utility-scale wind farm that will be the largest in the Middle East when completed.