Gulf's first utility-scale wind farm begins power generation

The 50MW scheme in Oman's Dhofar province generated its first kilowatt hour of electricity

The Arabian Gulf’s first utility-scale wind farm, the 50-megawatt scheme in Oman’s southern Dhofar region has begun generating power.

The wind farm, funded by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, produced its first kilowatt hour of electricity and was successfully connected to Oman’s electricity transmission grid last week.

The scheme is implemented by Abu Dhabi’s Masdar alongside a consortium of GE Renewable Energy and Spain’s TSK, responsible for executing its engineering, procurement and construction.

Once fully commissioned, the wind farm is expected to generate enough electricity to power 16,000 Omani homes or equivalent to 7 per cent of demand from the Dhofar province, Masdar said in a statement.

The project will begin commercial operation before the end of 2019, following the installation of the remaining 12 wind turbines, which will be commissioned, tested and connected to the grid in sequence. Oman Power and Water Procurement Company is the off taker for the scheme, from the Rural Areas Electricity Company of Oman, which will operate the wind farm after completion.

The Dhofar wind farm is the first of several wind schemes under execution in the Middle East, which is expected to see increasing capacity build-up in the sector over the next decade. Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter is also undertaking execution of its first-ever wind scheme, a $500 million project in the country’s northern Al Jouf region.

The 400MW project is expected to commence operation in the first quarter of 2022.

Saudi Arabia has been looking at adopting cleaner forms of energy, switching its power stations from running on oil to gas, and solar and wind to free-up its crude for the export markets.