A solar photovoltaic (PV) system is to be constructed to provide power for a desalination plant in Oman, in the city of Sur – seemingly the largest such PV system ever to be have been attempted, according to project partners TotalEnergies and Veolia, which signed an agreement in late July to begin construction.
The power plant will be located on the site of the Sharqiyah Desalination plant, which is a reference in Oman and in the gulf region, supplying drinking water to more than 600,000 inhabitants of the Sharqiyah region.
This 17-megawatt peak (MWp) solar project will be the first of its kind to be installed in the region. It will produce annually over 30,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of green electricity, or more than a third of the desalination plant’s daily consumption, enabling it to avoid close to 300,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
This is in line with Oman’s National Energy Strategy to convert 30% of its electricity use to renewable sources by 2030. The plant will be equipped with more than 32,000 high-efficiency solar panels and will use an innovative East-West tracker system to increase energy production. It will cover an area of 130,000 square meters, equivalent to approximately 18 football pitches.
“At Veolia, we are committed to bring the ecological transformation in the water sector for our clients and for our own assets. We’re happy to launch the construction of the solar plant on our desalination unit in the city of Sur, to be able to power it with the green electricity while drastically reducing its carbon footprint, Estelle Brachlianoff, Chief Executive Officer of Veolia said. As one of the key players of Oman’s water sector, Veolia is fully committed to supporting Oman’s Vision 2040 sustainability objectives for the Sultanate’s communities and industries and our solar project with TotalEnergies goes in this direction.”
“This project is in line with our strategy to develop renewable energy in the Middle East and provide our customers with clean, reliable and affordable energy solutions. We are committed to helping Veolia decarbonize its operations, building on our strong track record of deploying renewable energy solutions at highly technical and complex sites. As a global multi-energy company, our goal is to contribute to the development of renewables in Oman and its region,” said Vincent Stoquart, Senior Vice President Renewables at TotalEnergies
Yaqoob Al Kiyumi, CEO of Oman Power and Water Procurement company OPWP said,
“This initiative is adding another perspective to the goal of having access to clean water in Oman. Employing solar energy as another energy source for desalination operation contributes to the sustainability objectives in Oman.”
Veolia is deploying solutions to optimize the energy efficiency of its desalination activities, including its Sharqiyah Desalination plant. The Group, in partnership with TotalEnergies, has decided to take a further step towards green transformation by using renewable energy to power the plant instead of fossil fuels.
TotalEnergies aims to assist producing countries in building a more sustainable future through a better use of the country’s natural resources, including solar energy, which will directly improve the accessibility of cleaner, more reliable and more affordable electricity. The Company is leveraging its leadership position in the region to develop large-scale solar projects in Qatar, Iraq and Libya. These projects illustrate the sustainable development model of TotalEnergies, a global multi-energy company that supports producing countries in their energy transition.