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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Oman weighs wind power projects in Ras Madrakah, Sadah

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Windswept coastal parts of Sadah in Dhofar Governorate and Ras Madrakah in Al Wusta Governorate are being assessed for their potential to host wind farm projects as part of the Omani government’s drive to ramp up the contribution of renewable energy resources to the country’s electricity generation capacity.


This is in addition to parts of Duqm (Al Wusta Governorate) and Jalaan Bani Bu Ali (South Al Sharqiyah Governorate), which have already been primed for new investments in wind-based power projects in the Sultanate of Oman.


Identifying suitable locations for the development of wind farms, as well as solar-based power projects, is part of the mandate of Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP), which is the sole buyer of all output from electricity and water projects.


OPWP, part of Nama Group, says it has made headway in its Wind Resource Assessment efforts. “OPWP has successfully completed Phase I of Wind Resource Assessment monitoring stations at Duqm (SEZAD) and Jalaan Bani Bu Ali sites and successfully commissioned Phase II in November 2021 in Ras Madrakah and Sadah sites. The new stations will continue to collect the data for a period of at least a year. The ground data will be used to assess the feasibility of future wind projects in Oman. It serves as part of the implementation of the renewable energy development plan,” the power procurer stated in its recently published 2021 Annual Report.


Collecting comprehensive wind resource data is key to the bankability of any wind project, says the stated-owned procurement entity. According to parent organisation Nama Group, the process of qualifying developers for proposed wind projects in Duqm and Jalaan Bani Bu Ali could potentially start this year.


Oman’s only commercial-scale wind farm is currently in operation at Harweel in Dhofar Governorate. Operated by the Rural Areas Electricity Company (Tanweer), also part of Nama Group, the 50 MW, 13-turbine wind farm came into operation in 2019, helping ease the governorate’s dependence on gas-based generation.


Sector regulator – the Authority for Public Services Regulation (APSR) – has already prepared a regulatory framework to enable the production and consumption of electricity from renewable energy sources.


Oman has a target to secure a 10 per cent contribution from renewables to its electricity requirements by 2025, rising to 39 per cent by 2040.


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