A renewable energy development plan unveiled recently by the Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP) the sole buyer of electricity in the Sultanate envisions the procurement of 3,050 megawatts (MW) of renewables-based capacity by 2025, representing 16 per cent of total electricity output by this timeframe. This compares with a minimum 10 per cent share for renewables set by the Omani government by the 2025 milestone. Indeed, by 2030, renewable energy projects may account for roughly 30 per cent of generation capacity in the Sultanate, according to Brian Wood, Senior Adviser at OPWP, a Member of Nama Group.
“OPWP sees a bright future for renewables,” said Wood at a sustainable energy conference held in the city recently. “By 2025, renewable energy projects from OPWP alone would provide for 16 per cent of electricity output. Another 2-5 per cent may come via other development channels,” he stated. Drawing a timeline for the delivery of 3,050 MW of renewables capacity, the official explained that the first 500 MW will come into operation in 2021 when the Ibri II Solar Independent Power Project (IPP) is completed.
By 2023, a further 1,000 MW (potentially rising to 1,200 MW) will be added to the portfolio when Manah Solar 1 and Manah Solar II are brought into operation. Also on the anvil is another solar PV project (Solar IPP 2024) of a projected capacity of 500 MW, details of which are yet to be finalised.
By 2024, the first of two new wind-based power projects is due to be brought online. Wind IPP 2023, with a capacity of around 100 MW, is expected to be established in Jaalan Bani Bu Ali within the Main Interconnected System (MIS). A much larger scheme, sized at 200 MW and planned in Duqm (Wind IPP 2024), will be operational by 2024 as well. Oman’s maiden wind farm (Dhofar 1 Wind IPP) — a 50 MW complex built at Harweel in Dhofar Governorate — came into operation last November.
Included in the pipeline of renewables based projects is the Barka WTE IPP — a Waste to Energy project with a maximum capacity of 160 MW and due to come on stream by 2025. In Duqm, OPWP envisions the potential for a 600MW Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project with thermal storage. The capacity level and timing of the project are under review, said Wood. Further wind development in Dhofar Governorate may occur by 2025 depending on grid security assessment, he added.