The 50-megawatt (MW) Dhofar Wind Farm in Oman has produced its first kilowatt hour of electricity, marking a major milestone for the GCC region’s first utility-scale wind farm.
The landmark wind farm, which is fully funded by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), was successfully connected to Oman’s electricity transmission grid last week during the commissioning of the project’s first wind turbine, which is now supplying clean power. The remaining 12 wind turbines will be commissioned, tested and connected to the grid in sequence, ensuring the start of commercial operations before the end of 2019.
The project is being implemented by Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) through an EPC consortium of GE Renewable Energy and Spain’s TSK.
Once fully commissioned, the wind farm is expected to generate enough electricity to supply 16,000 homes — equivalent to 7 per cent of Dhofar Governorate’s total power demand —and will offset an estimated 110,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually, while reducing reliance on natural gas for domestic power generation.
The Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP) will be the off-taker, or purchaser of the generated power, from the Rural Areas Electricity Company of Oman (Tanweer), which is responsible for operating the wind power plant upon completion.
Speaking on the occasion, Mohammed Saif al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, said: “Bringing Oman’s 50MW Dhofar Wind Farm online is yet another milestone in our 48-year development funding journey. Aimed at helping to achieve SDG 7 — Affordable and Clean Energy — this strategic venture also contributes to enhancing Oman’s energy output, while creating job opportunities and bolstering sustainable economic development in the country.”
Mohamed Jameel al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar, said: “Masdar is proud to have developed the first utility-scale wind farm in the GCC. The successful connection of the first wind turbine to the electricity transmission grid at the Dhofar Wind Farm is a major step for Oman and the country’s ambitions to diversify its energy mix to include renewables.”
GE Renewable Energy has provided the project’s 3.8MW wind turbines, which have been built to withstand Oman’s hot and arid desert conditions, while TSK is responsible for the remainder of the wind farm’s infrastructure and electrical transmission facilities connecting the plant to the grid.