The renewables market in the sultanate is still very young with several projects currently in their procurement or construction phase, although there is a definite move towards expanding the renewables sector. The projects under way include a 500 MW solar PV plant to be built in the Wilayat of Ibri by a consortium led by Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power which will power 30,000 homes by 2021.
The OPWP has recently also issued RFQs for two new solar IPPs – Manah I and Manah II – which will be located in Manah, southwest of Muscat, which will generate a combined 1.1GW of energy.
Having completed a feasibility study, the OPWP is also in the process of procuring a waste to energy IPP, which will have an electricity generation capacity of 125-160MW and would process 1.4 million tonnes of municipal solid waste annually.
Petroleum Development Oman LLC (PDO) has procured a 100MW solar PV plant to be built by Japan’s Marubeni which will supply electricity from May 2020 to PDO for the purposes of its operations in Amin, in the south of Oman.
A trend that is being seen elsewhere in the region is the use of captive solar PV in the construction, operation and maintenance of independent water projects (IWPs). This has already been seen in Oman during the procurement of the Sharqiyah IWP where the winning bidder, Japan’s JGC Corporation, proposed the use of a captive solar PV plant to reduce the electricity consumption required from Oman’s grid.
The AER has issued a licence for a first-of-its-kind solar pilot project in the sultanate. The 303kW solar power plant is located in the province of Al Mazyounah in the southern Dhofar Governorate. The pilot project allows assessments to made of the feasibility of commercial use alongside the challenges that may arise on similar projects. Another renewable project which is set to commence operations this year in Dhofar is Oman’s first wind power project, the first large-scale wind farm in the GCC region which will generate a capacity of 50MW. Once fully commissioned, the wind farm is expected to generate enough electricity to supply 16,000 homes, equivalent to 7% of Dhofar Governorate’s total power demand.