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Middle East’s largest wind farm marks key construction milestone with arrival of first turbines

The 400-megawatt (MW) Dumat Al Jandal utility-scale wind farm in Saudi Arabia that is being developed by a consortium led by EDF Renewables in partnership with Masdar, both global leaders in renewable energy, has marked a key construction milestone with the arrival of 20 wind turbines at Duba Port.

The turbines comprising towers, blades and nacelles will be assembled at the Dumat Al Jandal site, located 900km north of Riyadh, in the Al Jouf region of Saudi Arabia. A total of 99 Vestas V150-4.2MW wind turbines will be installed, with a hub height of 130 meters and rotor diameter of 150 meters.

Vestas is also responsible for the project’s engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract, while TSK is handling the balance of plant (BOP) and Al Babtain Contracting Company is providing the project’s substations and high-voltage solutions.

Dumat Al Jandal will be Saudi Arabia’s first wind farm and the largest in the Middle East when completed. Construction began last August and commercial operations are due to start in the first quarter of 2022.

Once fully operational, the wind farm will power up to 70,000 Saudi households, while displacing around 988,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

The Renewable Energy Project Development Office (REPDO) of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Energy awarded the US$500 million Dumat Al Jandal wind farm to the EDF Renewables-Masdar consortium in January 2019 following a competitive tender in which it had submitted the lowest bid of US$21.3 per megawatt hour (MWh). The tariff was further improved to US$19.9/MWh at financial close, making Dumat Al Jandal the most cost-efficient wind project anywhere in the world.

The Dumat Al Jandal wind farm will supply electricity according to a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) to the Saudi Power Procurement Company, a subsidiary of the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), the Saudi power generation and distribution company.

Osama bin Abdulwahab Khawandanah, Chief Executive Officer of Saudi Power Procurement Company, which is responsible for purchasing the entire production of the Dumat Al Jandal project, said: “We are pleased with the arrival of 20 wind turbines for the Dumat Al Jandal wind energy project, and we thank the winning consortium for all the efforts they are making in the construction of the plant to achieve its commercial operation on time.”

Khawandanah added: “Dumat Al Jandal is our first wind energy project producing electricity at scale and as a key project under the King Salman Renewable Energy Initiative, it is playing a key role in diversifying Saudi Arabia’s power mix sustainably. Dumat Al Jandal reflects our strong partnership with the private sector and the commercial viability of wind energy, which is enabling us to establish a competitive renewable energy sector in the Kingdom while reducing our carbon emissions in line with the Vision 2030.”

Frédéric Belloy, EDF Renewables’ International Executive Vice President, declared: “We are very pleased to be part of this important step forward in the Saudi Arabia energy transition with the delivery of the first wind turbines dedicated to a utility-scale wind farm in the Kingdom. This key construction milestone, in the largest wind farm of Middle East, highlights the progress achieved in the delivery phase of the project by the consortium and its suppliers thanks to the support of the Kingdom’s authorities and entities in charge of implementing the National Renewable Energy Program.”

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, said: “The delivery of the first batch of wind turbines is a significant landmark in the development of the Dumat Al Jandal wind farm and the realization of Saudi Arabia’s wider renewable energy program, to which we are fully committed with our partners. In addition to being the largest wind farm in the region, and the most cost-efficient of its type, Dumat Al Jandal is committed to achieving a lasting positive community impact through procuring skills and materials in Saudi Arabia, supporting local jobs and businesses, and accelerating knowledge transfer.”

Muhamed Bou-Zeid, General Manager of Vestas Middle East and North Africa, said: “At Vestas, we are committed to leading the global energy transition to foster sustainable economic growth. With over 40 years of experience in the wind industry and 115GW of installed capacity worldwide, Vestas brings its pioneering solutions closer to our customers to support the region in its transition to a decarbonized and decentralised energy system. Saudi Arabia is ready to make that transition and to become a beacon of green energy and sustainability for the rest of its neighbouring countries to follow suit. We are very pleased to be part of the Kingdom’s vision and success and we look forward to establishing ourselves in the country for many years to come.”

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