• OPWP hopes to begin procurement of 200MW of photovoltaic solar capacity this year, pending government approval
  • The 200MW may be at one site or across several
  • Data collection is ongoing at two sites, Adam and Manah

Oman Power & Water Procurement Company (OPWP) intends to begin the procurement process for up to 200MW of photovoltaic (PV) solar power in 2015.

OPWP is waiting for the completion of a sector-wide National Energy Strategy Study in mid-2015 and government approval for the project, according to its 2015-2021 seven-year plan.

The 200MW may be at one site or split across several. OPWP is collecting data at two solar monitoring sites, Adam and Manah. Bids for operation and maintenance contracts for the sites are due on 9 April.

The PV solar project or projects would be tendered on an independent power project (IPP) model, like all major power schemes in Oman.

OPWP expects that if procurement begins in 2015, the capacity can come online in 2019.

The firm is also negotiating a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the local Rural Areas Electricity Company (Raeco) for the 50MW Harweel wind farm. Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) is providing funding for the $200m project.

It is expected to come online in 2017.

Oman has high levels of solar irradiation, but is behind other GCC countries in adopting renewable energy. However, alternative power is becoming more attractive as peak electricity demand is growing at more than 9 per cent a year and gas allocations in the sultanate are becoming increasingly difficult to secure.

The 200MW of solar capacity would reduce gas consumption in the power sector by 1-2 per cent.

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