Muscat: Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) is installing thousands of solar panels in its car parks to provide power for its headquarters in Muscat.
The environmentally friendly move will save more than 3.1 million cubic metres of gas a year, enough to provide electricity for almost 1,000 homes. It will also cut carbon dioxide emissions by 6,662 tonnes annually, the equivalent of taking more than 1,400 cars off the road or planting almost 173,000 trees.
Once complete, the 5.92 MWp (megawatt peak) solar project will generate 9,480,000 KWh (electrical units) per year. Generated power will be connected to three of the main office buildings at PDO’s Mina Al Fahal complex.
PDO Managing Director Raoul Restucci said: “At present, PDO is fully dependent on fuel gas to generate electrical power for its business needs.
“At the same time, the level of solar energy density in Oman is one among the highest in the world so it made both financial and environmental sense to take the initiative to develop “green power” in a phased manner.
“Sustainability is key to everything we do and we are committed to solutions which deliver more value, both for our immediate stakeholders and the whole of Oman. We believe there is a lot more potential to harness the sun’s energy across our portfolio and the Sultanate generally.”
A total of 18,500 solar photo voltaic (PV) modules are currently being fitted to the canopies of 2,400 parking lots and the project is expected to be completed this November. The project is the largest solar scheme at a single location in Oman and spans an area of 37,000m2.
The renewable energy scheme is being executed as a joint venture by Spanish company Elecnor in partnership with Omani firm Rukun Al Yaqeen (RAY) International.
Restucci signed the contract with Elecnor Vice President Alberto JordánReig and RAY International Managing Director Tameem Bin Saif Al Mahrouqi at an official ceremony at PDO Knowledge World Centre on Sunday.
PDO Infrastructure Power Systems Department Management Mohammed Aghbari said: “This scheme is a hassle-free, fully automatic operation with negligible operating costs.
“At the same time, it reduces our dependency on the metered grid supply of electricity and hopefully acts as a catalyst to other oil and gas operators to explore the use of more renewable energy sources.
“I am also excited by the opportunity it offers to develop Omani capability in solar and to build a local supply chain in this growing area.”
PDO is already using solar energy for street lighting and water heating in its Ras Al Hamra residential development and is currently working with partner GlassPoint Solar to build the largest solar energy plant at peak capacity in the world at its Amal cluster in southern Oman. The Miraah project will harness the sun’s rays to create steam as an alternative to gas for use in thermal enhanced oil recovery.