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PDO plans new solar project with battery storage in North Oman

Energy transition: First wind farm in Block 6 targeted for commissioning in Q1 2024
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Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), the country’s biggest producer of Oil & Gas, plans to set up a new utility-scale solar-based power project, along with a first ever battery storage system, in the northern part of its Block 6 concession in the Sultanate of Oman.

The proposed Independent Power Project (IPP) will be second of its kind in PDO’s concession after the successful launch of its 105 MW Amin Renewable Energy plant near Nimr in 2020. Procured as an IPP, the Amin project also recently secured the European Union’s carbon credit registration – an achievement that will help PDO deliver on its energy transition and decarbonisation efforts.

“PDO is now considering the development of a second 100-MW solar storage IPP plant. The facility would have the option of an additional 30-MW battery storage system charged by an additional solar capacity to maintain PDO grid stability and safeguard power distribution,” the majority government-owned energy company said in its latest Sustainability Report.

“It would be monitored by the Yibal Central Power Control Centre with energy produced from the PV plant dispatched into the company’s transmission system at 132kV via the existing Saih Nihayda Depletion Compression Substation,” the report further noted.

Separately, PDO plans to bring into operation its first wind farm in 2024. The first of these projects, titled ‘Riyah-1’, is proposed to come at one of six locations identified as promising candidate sites for the installation of wind turbines. During a year-long pre-feasibility study, the company collected data on wind speeds and direction, atmospheric temperature and pressure to ascertain the suitability of the six locations for wind power projects.

“All six sites showed strong potential and legal and technical proposal documents are being drawn up for the first project, titled Riyah 1. Soil, topographical and logistics surveys are to be completed before the contracting strategy is finalis`ed and tenders sought. The aim is to commission the first PDO wind farm by Q1 2024,” said PDO.

Several small-scale solar PV-based initiatives are also planned as well. They include solar rooftop and ground-mounted systems for installation in Mina Al Fahal and Ras Al Hamra complex.

Significantly, the green energy investments are in line with a commitment by PDO to become a net-zero emission energy company by 2050. In support of this goal, PDO has pledged to embrace energy transition objectives, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with its oil and gas operations, develop alternative GHG sinks to offset residual emissions, and pursue energy efficiency measures, especially around artificial lifting and water management which account for more than half the power it consumes.

Further, as a member of the National Hydrogen Alliance (Hy-Fly), PDO is supporting efforts to develop a hydrogen supply chain for the clean fuel industry.

“We are now playing an active role in this enterprise and the immediate goal is to produce green hydrogen at megawatt scale via water electrolysis for two main applications: the injection of H2 into the gas grid to minimise natural gas consumption; and the replacement of conventional heavy-duty vehicles (in the mid-long term) with hydrogen fuel cell vehicles,” the company added.

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