Stage set for development of first commercial scale solar power plant

Muscat - 

After years of planning and feasibility studies, Oman is finally pushing to get its first large-scale solar power plant. 

A Request for Proposal (RFP) seeking legal advisory services for the development of a Solar Independent Power Project (IPP) has been issued by the Oman Power and Water Procurement Co (OPWP).

“OPWP seeks a proposal from interested bidders to provide legal advisory services for the competitive tendering of a commercial scale solar power plant to be connected to the Main Interconnected System (MIS) in Oman,” the company stated.
The tender documents are available for purchase from the office of OPWP till June 18. The last date for bid submission is July 24.

With demand for consumption increasing over the years and expected peak demand to grow at about six per cent per year, from 5,920MW in 2016 to 8,960MW in 2023 for MIS, there is tremendous pressure for new sources of power generation.

“OPWP plans to procure Oman’s first large-scale Solar IPP in 2017. Technical advisors have been engaged to develop tender documents and an appropriate evaluation methodology that assures a cost-effective project without subsidy. Its capacity will be of at least 200MW, and be operational by 2020,” the company stated in its Seven-Year Outlook Statement.

The Authority for Electricity Regulation (AER) had commissioned a study to assess the availability of renewable sources of energy and the potential utilisation of such sources for the generation of sustainable electrical energy to meet future energy demands.
The results of this study confirmed the untapped potential of Oman’s renewable sources of energy. The Public Authority for Electricity and Water (PAEW) conducted a feasibility study on the preparation for the country’s first large-scale renewable energy project with net power output ranging from 100MW to 200MW.

This study was able to identify 23 sites in three regions in the country to have the characteristics most suitable for the development of a large-scale solar plant. The basis of this decision was due to specific criteria including, but not limited to, proximity to MIS, availability of solar radiation data, environmental issues (including air quality, natural resources, topography and landscape and so on).

On renewable energy, it further said that OPWP and PAEW established a joint task force towards the development of wind power plants. “PAEW’s 2016 Wind Atlas Report identified several locations for prospective wind plants, and OPWP plans to develop wind instrumentation stations to support future power development.”

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