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Oman to adopt battery storage for hybrid power projects

Having recently brought on stream Oman’s first wind-power farm, the Rural Areas Electricity Company (Tanweer) is forging ahead with the development of 11 small-scale Solar PV/Diesel based hybrid power projects at various locations across the Sultanate.

But in a dramatic revamp of the project definition and scope, state-owned Tanweer — part of Nama Group — has called for the inclusion of battery storage at all 11 sites in the first such wide-scale deployment of solar energy storage systems in the Sultanate.

A Request for Qualifications issued by the utility last week invites competent local and international developers to register their interest in participating in a competitive tender for a licence to develop Solar PV-Diesel -Battery Storage Hybrid Systems on a Build Own Operate Transfer (BOOT) basis.

The project scope envisions the development of a combined 146 megawatts of capacity comprising 48 MWp of solar PV capacity, 70 MW of diesel generation capacity, and 28 MWac of Battery Energy Storage Systems.

This capacity is proposed to be developed at: Mad’ha (Musandam Governorate), Masrooq (Al Dhahirah), Al Khuwaimah and Masirah (Al Sharqiyah South), Al Hitam and Al Khadrah (Al Wusta), and Mittan, Al Mazyouna and Farshat Qatbeet (Dhofar), all of which fall within Tanweer’s sprawling and diverse coverage area.

Significantly, all but two (Mad’ha and Mittan) of the locations are brownfield diesel-powered plants, which are proposed to be upgraded into solar PV / diesel hybrid power developments, featuring with battery storage as well. Existing diesel generation capacity will either be replaced or expanded, according to Tanweer.

Importantly, all 11 sites will be tendered out to one successful bidder, who will operate, maintain and supply electricity output from the hybrid systems to Tanweer under a 15-year Power Purchase Agreement.

Underscoring the robust global interest in the project when it was first unveiled to prospective developers more than a year ago, as many as 48 companies responded to an Expression of Interest (EoI) issued by Tanweer in April 2018. These contenders have been invited to submit their qualification details afresh, given the modified project scope and definition. Tanweer has also announced that it will also accept new qualification applications from new prospective market participants, noting that the deadline for all submissions is September 19, 2019.
Wholly government-owned Tanweer is mandated to generate and supply electricity in remote areas that fall outside of the coverage of the two main national grids — the Main Interconnected System (MIS) covering the northern half of Oman, and the Dhofar System. The utility currently operates 34 diesel power plants serving around 38,000 customers.

Advising Tanweer in the tender for the Solar PV — Diesel — Battery Storage hybrid projects are experts representing Synergy
Consulting, DLA Piper, Ahlibank, and DNV-GL.

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Source: Oman Observer


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