The Sultanate of Oman is building the largest wind farm in the Gulf States region. The $125 million, 50-megawatt project is a joint development between Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, Masdar, and Oman’s Rural Areas Electricity Company (RAECO). Estimated to generate enough clean electricity to power 16,000 homes and mitigate 110,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, the project is also remarkable for the language used to promote it: the Gulf States are looking to a low-carbon, post-oil future.
The project will consist of up to 25 wind turbines and construction will begin in the final quarter of 2015. CEO of RAECO, Eng Hamed al Magdheri, says that once online, “This project will deliver significant economic benefits. 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.”
H.E Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE minister of state and chairman of Masdar, noted: “The region is rapidly adopting renewable energy as a viable solution to meet growing electricity demands and to address long-term resource security. 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 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. Through Masdar, the UAE is proving that renewables are both competitive commercially and essential to diversifying the global energy mix.”
Interesting stuff, eh? Oman’s energy demands are growing due to population and economic growth. That a country in an oil-rich region should choose to invest in wind energy to ensure long-term resource security shows a vision that many in the West still sadly seem to lack. Meanwhile, in the wind energy sector, Masdar has also delivered the London Array – the largest offshore wind farm in the world – and is currently part of a consortium working on the 402-megawatt Dudgeon wind farm project in the UK. In the Middle East, Masdar is also working to deliver the 117-megawatt Tafila onshore wind farm in Jordan.
Photos by reynermedia via Flickr and Masdar