Oman solar project inks power-purchase deal

Al Mazyunah solar energy pilot project to supply Raeco for 20 years

The hybrid project will use a mixture of solar and diesel power.
The hybrid project will use a mixture of solar and diesel power.

A 303 kilowatt (kW) solar energy pilot project in Oman’s Dhofar governorate is set to supply Rural Areas Electricity Co (Raeco) with power after the company signed a 20-year purchase agreement with the project’s operators.

Multi-Tech LLC and a consortium led by Astonfield agreed to the deal which will see the hybrid diesel-solar system project, the first of its kind in Oman, cover most of the winter power demand in Al Mazyunah.

The project is expected to be operational by June 2014 and to be capable of producing 558 megawatts (MW) annually.

Eng Hamed al Magdheri, CEO of Raeco, said: "Raeco is implementing the recommendations of the renewable energy report issued by the Authority for Electricity Regulation (AER) in May 2008.

"The study recommended the implantation of small-scale pilot projects to produce electricity using renewable energy resources, specifically solar and wind energy. Raeco has zeroed in on some suitable sites for the implantation of the projects.”

He continued: “Among the sites is the one at Al Mazyunah, near Raeco’s existing power station. We are seeking, through these projects, to achieve several objectives and gain experience of operating and maintaining renewable-energy technologies."

The project is also aimed at developing a database on renewable-energy technologies to enable Raeco and other government-related entities to take future decisions with regard to the expansion in using these technologies, especially when planning large projects within the main interconnected system.

“The operational costs of using solar energy to produce electricity are less than using fossil fuels. The project is expected to be feasible in the long term,” said Magdheri.

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