The Oman wind power project will consist of 25 wind turbines and building ix expected to commence at the end of next year.
Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, has signed a deal with Oman’s Rural Areas Electricity Company to build a US$125 million wind farm that will provide electricity to 16,000 homes.
The Oman deal represents the first large-scale wind project in the six-country GCC region, Masdar says, and is part of the wider strategic regional move to diversify into renewable and nuclear energy to improve energy diversity, lower carbon dioxide emissions, and free up oil and gas for export markets.
Regional investment in solar, wind and nuclear energy is expected to reach $100 billion over the next five years, Masdar estimates.
“The region is rapidly adopting renewable energy as a viable solution to meet growing electricity demands and to address long-term resource security,” Sultan bin Ahmed Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and Chairman of Masdar, said in a statement. “The United Arab Emirates is a first mover and the country is extending its global energy leadership through the deployment of wind and solar power domestically and internationally.”
In the wind sector globally, Masdar has a stake in the world’s largest wind project, the London Array, which lies off the east coast of Britain, although that project’s second phase expansion was cancelled earlier this year because of concerns about birds running into the wind turbines.
Masdar last month bought into the consortium working to complete the Dudgeon Wind Farm, a 402-megawatt project in the UK, paying more than £500 million pounds (Dh29.4 billion). In the Middle East, Masdar also is developing a 117-megawatt Tafila onshore wind farm in Jordan.
The Oman project extends Masdar’s Middle East reach and helps its fellow GCC member make better use of its resources.
“When completed, wind power will meet half of the Dhofar region’s energy needs during the winter,” said Hamed Al Magdheri, the chief executive of Raeco. “It will also reduce our reliance on traditional forms of energy, such as gas, which can be redirected toward more valuable industrial uses, while also extending the life of our hydrocarbon reserves.”