Saudi Arabia floats ME’s largest wind farm
Dumat Al Jandal, the Middle East’s largest wind farm and the first in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is now connected to the grid and has produced its first carbon-free megawatt-hours (MWh) of energy.
The 400-megawatt (MW) utility-scale wind power project is being developed by a consortium led by EDF Renewables and Masdar, two of the world’s leading renewable energy companies.
The wind farm consists of 99 wind turbines from supplier and EPC contractor Vestas, each with a power output of 4.2 MW. Construction began in September 2019, and the wind turbine erection works are near completion.
When complete, the wind farm will generate carbon-free energy, powering up to 70,000 Saudi households, while saving 988,000 tonnes of CO2 per year in support of the Kingdom’s climate change mitigation goals.
Olivier Marchand, Project Director of Dumat Al Jandal Wind Co for Energy LLC, stated, “We are delighted to start the early power production of this unique large-scale wind project in KSA — Dumat Al Jandal wind farm.
The outstanding commitment shown by our teams and contractors with the implementation of the highest health and safety standards and the full support provided by the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Energy, Saudi Power Procurement Company (SPCC) and the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) have contributed to the successful execution of the project during this extremely challenging pandemic period. We are now looking forward to successfully reaching, with our partners and contractors, the full commissioning of the project in the months to come.”
Osama Al Othman, Country Representative, Saudi Arabia, Masdar, said, “Masdar is proud to be leveraging its experience in renewable energy to deliver the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s first wind farm in collaboration with our partners. The successful connection of the project to the electricity transmission grid marks an important milestone for this landmark project in the Kingdom and we look forward to project’s completion in the near future. As a global leader in the development of commercially viable wind power, Masdar is committed to advancing clean technology across the region and we will continue our efforts to support the country’s ambitious energy program.”
The wind farm is also contributing to the region’s economic activity, creating more than 600 local jobs during the construction phase. The project has also achieved a significant health and safety milestone by securing 1.8 million man-hours without a single lost-time injury (LTI) as a result of the strict health and safety procedures on site.
The Dumat Al Jandal wind farm will supply electricity under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Saudi Power Procurement Company, a subsidiary of the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), the Saudi power generation and distribution company.
Masdar, and PT PJBI, a subsidiary of Indonesia’s state-owned electricity company PT PLN, announced recently that financial close has been achieved on the Cirata Floating Photovoltaic Power Plant project and construction work has begun. Financing for the project – Indonesia’s first floating solar power plant – was arranged through Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Societe Generale, and Standard Chartered Bank, said a Masdar press release. The 145-megawatt (ac) plant is being developed by PT. Pembangkitan Jawa Bali Masdar Solar Energi (PMSE), a joint venture (JV) between Masdar and PT PJBI, and is expected to begin commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2022.
Set to be the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia and one of the largest in the world, the plant is being built on the Cirata reservoir in the West Java Province. Once completed, it will provide enough electricity to power 50,000 homes, and will offset 214,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, and contribute to the creation of up to 800 jobs. Throughout the development of the project, Masdar has conducted a series of social initiatives, raising awareness on sustainability issues and strengthening local community engagement.
Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago nation, is targeting 23 per cent of its energy mix coming from renewables by 2025 under its Electricity Infrastructure Acceleration Programme. The government also recently announced that it aims to increase the proportion of renewable power in its 2021-2030 national electricity plan to at least 48 per cent, from 30 per cent in its previous plan, said the press release.