Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP) has added a renewable energy source with a new Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project in Duqm. OPWP is focusing on a mixed portfolio of renewable resources and technologies to meet Oman’s target for 35 – 39% of national electricity supply coming from renewables by 2040.
The CSP technology will complement the already existing lar photovoltaic (PV) technology in Oman’s first large-scale grid-connected 500 MWp solar power plant in operation at Ibri. The CSP technology utilises mirrors arrayed in concentric circles to reflect solar radiation onto a centrally located thermal receiver. The heat, thus produced is captured and stored by a fluid to power a turbine and generate electricity. The CSP project at Duqm also includes thermal storage within its scope to ensure a degree of stabilized electricity supply from the plant. If it is proved viable, OPWP plans to include the CSP project in its procurement strategy.
Earlier, a feasibility study was carried out into the project with a capacity of around 600 MW and was slated to be completed in 2022.
OPWP’s has plans to procure new solar and wind based Independent Power Projects on an annual basis for the next five years , that is, till 2028. This plan includes three solar PV projects, five wind IPPs, and one Waste-to-Energy project. Other than it, a new solar IPP within the Main Interconnected System (MIS) is being prepped for launch in 2027, Ras Madrakah Wind IPP (Al Wusta Governorate) in 2027, and Sadah Wind IPP (Dhofar Governorate) in 2028.
With sole focus on renewable energy projects over this time-frame OPWP has no plans to procure new gas-based thermal capacity. Moreover, if there are any shortfalls in supply, short-term capacity pacts or energy imports via interconnections with neighbouring power systems, or other local operators having surplus capacity. will be worked out.
Increasing its dependence on renewable-based sources will help Oman significantly in achieving its targets for the decarbonisation of the power generation sector. The addition of the CSP project at Duqm has added to its capacity for renewable energy ensuring a more stable supply of electricity to meet the growing demand for energy.