Muscat, OCT 20 – Oman’s authorities have identified a total of seven locations around the country that are deemed optimal for the establishment of large-scale wind power projects in the Sultanate. Areas with relatively high wind speeds include Sur and Jaalan Bani Bu Ali in Sharqiyah South Governorate, Duqm in Wusta Governorate, and Sadah, Shaleem & Al Halaniyat Islands, and Al Jazer in Dhofar Governorate, says a newly published report on the potential for renewables and alternative energy resources being explored by the Sultanate as part of a planned transition from natural gas — presently the primary fuel resource for power generation.
The report, put together by the Implementation Support & Follow-up Unit (ISFU) — a task force operating under the Diwan of Royal Court with a mission to accelerate Oman’s economic diversification drive — documents various initiatives and proposals deliberated during the Energy Lab — a three-weeks-long forum that focused on sustainability in securing Oman’s long-term energy needs.
Wind-based power generation is projected to make a modest, if important, contribution to the government’s goal of securing at minimum 10 per cent share of the nation’s electricity requirement from renewables and alternative energy resources.
“Parts of Oman’s coast have relatively high-wind speed (between 5 and 7.5 metres/second), which enables the Sultanate to benefit from its wind potential to generate electricity. Similar to the solar energy initiative, the cost of wind-related technologies continues to decline, which in turn enhances the status of wind energy as an attractive renewable energy potential,” said ISFU in its report.
According to ISFU, a second large-scale wind power project is proposed to be established at one of the seven locations identified as suitable for such schemes. ‘Wind 2023’, as the new wind farm project is dubbed’, will feature a generation capacity of 150 to 200 MW.
“The project is expected to become operational by 2023 and the site will be selected after ensuring its technical and economic feasibility,” the report said.
Oman’s maiden investment in wind-based capacity is currently under construction in the Fetkhit area of Wilayat of Shaleem and Al Halaniyat Islands in the Governorate of Dhofar.
The Rural Areas Electricity Company (Tanweer), part of Nama Group, is overseeing the establishment of the 50 MW project.
The Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), the project developer, has awarded a contract for its execution to an international consortium comprising General Electric and TSK.
Total investment during the Engineering-Procurement-Construction (EPC) phase is estimated at $105 million.
Stakeholders in the Sultanate’s ambitions for harnessing the nation’s wind-based potential include the Authority for Electricity Regulation, Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP), Public Authority for Electricity and Water (Diam), Oman Electricity Transmission Company, Ministry of Housing, Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs, and Royal Oman Police.