A substantial portfolio of large-scale solar and wind-based electricity projects is planned for implementation by the year 2025 in line with a commitment by the Omani government to harness renewables as a source of power to meet at least 10 per cent of total domestic demand, according to a top official of Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP).
Yaqoob Saif Hamood al Kiyumi (pictured), CEO, said renewables-based power will account for a growing share of new generation capacity in the Sultanate. “The Financial Affairs and Energy Resources Council has obligated OPWP to ensure that a minimum 10 per cent of energy production comes from renewable resources by 2025. Our aim is to exceed that target with commitments for at least two projects by 2019, with huge renewables based capacity being established definitely by 2025,” he said.
This 10 per cent target translates to between 2,500 and 3,000 MW of renewables-based capacity, said the CEO, stressing that the company — part of Nama Group — is gearing to deliver on this commitment by developing the necessary human capital and technical wherewithal as well.
All of the projects — based predominantly on solar photovoltaic (PV) systems but also on wind energy — will be large-scale developments of capacities estimated in the 100s of megawatts, said Al Kiyumi.
Land for future solar projects, which typically require large tracts of open space, has been allocated in the wilayats of Ibri, Manah and Adam. However, the wind energy projects are expected to come up largely in the Dhofar and Wusta governorates, where wind resources are optimal.
Also auguring well for the accelerated and widespread adoption of renewables is the proposed North-South Interconnection project — an initiative being spearheaded by Oman Electricity Transmission Commission (OETC) to link the Main Interconnected Grid (MIS) serving the northern half of Oman, with the Dhofar System. The interconnection would open up other areas of the country to renewables based project, the CEO said.
Oman’s first utility scale solar PV scheme — a 500 MW development — will come up in Wilayat Ibri, where studies commissioned by OPWP have validated the feasibility of establishing commercial-scale solar ventures in select areas of the Al Dhahirah and Al Dakhiliyah governorates. Proximity to transmission networks has been a key factor as well.