The 50-megawatt Dhofar Wind Farm in Oman has produced its first kilowatt hour of electricity, marking a 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), a 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 percent of Dhofar governorate’s total power demand — and will offset an estimated 110,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, while reducing reliance on natural gas for domestic power generation.
Mohammed Saif Al-Suwaidi, director-general of ADFD, said: “ADFD recognized early on the importance of funding renewable energy projects in driving the objectives of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. To advance sustainable energy solutions worldwide, ADFD has, since its inception, partnered with regional and international stakeholders, contributing to the production of about 2,584MW of renewable energy in different countries.”
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.”
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.”
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.