By Andy Sambidge
Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company inks deal to build first large-scale wind farm in the Gulf region
Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, has signed a joint development agreement with Oman's Rural Areas Electricity Company (RAECO) to build the first large-scale wind farm in the GCC.
The $125 million, 50-megawatt wind farm in Oman will be constructed in the country’s Dhofar Governorate, a statement said.
The project is estimated to generate enough clean electricity to power 16,000 homes and mitigate 110,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.
The project will consist of up to 25 wind turbines, and construction is slated to begin in the final quarter of 2015.
The first-of-its-kind wind project reflects the increasing trend by GCC nations to invest in renewables as a means to diversify the energy mix and address long-term resource security.
Investments in solar, wind and peaceful nuclear energy are expected to reach $100 billion over the next five years.
"The region is rapidly adopting renewable energy as a viable solution to meet growing electricity demands and to address long-term resource security," said Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and chairman of Masdar.
"The Oman wind project is a prime example of how clean energy can deliver reliable power supplies and improve energy security, while also supporting a transition to a low-carbon future."
The Dhofar wind-power project supports Oman’s broader strategy to meet the country’s growing energy demand, which is rising due to population and economic growth. Upon completion, wind energy will represent 7 percent of total installed power generation capacity in the Dhofar region.
"This project will deliver significant economic benefits," said Hamed al Magdheri, CEO of RAECO. "When completed, wind power will meet half of the Dhofar region’s energy needs during the winter.
"It will also reduce our reliance on traditional forms of energy, such as gas, which can be redirected toward more valuable industrial uses, while also extending the life of our hydrocarbon reserves."
In the wind sector, Masdar previously delivered the London Array – the largest offshore wind farm in the world – and is currently part of a consortium working to complete the Dudgeon Wind Farm, a 402-megawatt project in the United Kingdom.
In the Middle East, Masdar is also working to deliver the 117-megawatt Tafila onshore wind farm in Jordan.