Masdar announced Wednesday that it had signed an agreement to build the first large-scale wind farm in a Gulf Cooperation Council country, in the Sultanate of Oman.
The $125 million, 50 MW wind farm will be constructed in the country’s Dhofar Governorate, and is estimated to generate energy to power 16,000 homes and mitigate approximately 110,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.
Masdar, a renewable energy company out of Abu Dhabi, is not an unknown quantity in the renewable energy industry. In late September, Masdar announced that it would be partnering with Norway’s Statoil & Statkraft to construct a £1.5 billion, 402 MW offshore wind farm in the UK. At the time, Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, chairman of Masdar, said:
“As the only OPEC nation supplying both traditional and renewable energy to international markets, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is committed to accelerating the use of wind energy as an effective means of balancing the global energy mix as we move toward a sustainable, low carbon future.”
This latest project is being regarded as a result of “strong bilateral ties” between the United Arab Emirates, of which Abu Dhabi is the capital, and Oman.
“The region is rapidly adopting renewable energy as a viable solution to meet growing electricity demands and to address long-term resource security,” said Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, also the UAE minister of state. “The Oman wind project is a prime example of how clean energy can deliver reliable power supplies and improve energy security, while also supporting a transition to a low-carbon future.”
The project is a strong one for the region, improving the strong ties between the UAE and Oman, as well as furthering Oman’s goals for a broader energy strategy. Upon completion, the Dhofar wind project will represent 7% of the total installed power generation capacity in the Dhofar region.
“This project will deliver significant economic benefits,” said Eng Hamed al Magdheri, CEO of the Rural Areas Electricity Company (RAECO). “When completed, wind power will meet half of the Dhofar region’s energy needs during the winter. 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.”
“The United Arab Emirates is a first mover,” said Al Jaber, “and the country is extending its global energy leadership through the deployment of wind and solar power domestically and internationally. Through Masdar, the UAE is proving that renewables are both competitive commercially and essential to diversifying the global energy mix.”
The project will consist of 25 wind turbines and is expected to begin construction in early 2015.
Image Credit — Signing: Dr. Ahmad Belhoul (CEO, Masdar) and Eng Hamad bin Salim Al Maghdari (CEO of RAECO) during the signing ceremony. In the presence of H.E Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaberm (UAE minister of state and chairman of Masdar) and Mohammed Abdullah Al Mahrouqi (Chairman of RAECO).
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