Middle East’s largest wind farm marks vital construction milestone with the arrival of first turbines

    29 Jul 2021

    The 400-megawatt (MW) Dumat Al Jandal utility-scale wind farm in Saudi Arabia developed by a consortium led by EDF Renewables in partnership with Masdar, both global leaders in renewable energy, has marked a key construction milestone with the arrival of 20 wind turbines at Duba Port. 

    A consortium with key contractors Vestas, TSK, and Al Babtain Contracting Company, expect to start commercial operation of the plant is expected in 2022,  EDF-Renouvelables states.

    The turbines comprising towers, blades, and nacelles will be assembled at the Dumat Al Jandal site, located 900km north of Riyadh, in the Al Jouf region of Saudi Arabia. A total of 99 Vestas V150-4.2MW wind turbines will be installed, with a hub height of 130 meters and a rotor diameter of 150 meters.

    Vestas is also responsible for the project’s engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract. At the same time, TSK handles the balance of plant (BOP), and Al Babtain Contracting Companyprovidesing the project’s substations high-voltage solutions.

    Dumat Al Jandal will be Saudi Arabia’s first wind farm and the largest in the Middle East when completed. Construction began last August, and commercial operations are due to start in the first quarter of 2022.

    Once fully operational, the wind farm will power up to 70,000 Saudi households while displacing around 988,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

    The Renewable Energy Project Development Office (REPDO) of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Energy awarded the US$500 million Dumat Al Jandal wind farm to the EDF Renewables-Masdar consortium in January 2019 following a competitive tender in which it had submitted the lowest bid of US$21.3 per megawatt-hour (MWh). The tariff was further improved to US$19.9/MWh at financial close, making Dumat Al Jandal the most cost-efficient wind project anywhere in the world.

    The Dumat Al Jandal wind farm will supply electricity according to a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) to the Saudi Power Procurement Company, a subsidiary of the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), the Saudi power generation and distribution company.

    Osama bin Abdulwahab Khawandanah, Chief Executive Officer of Saudi Power Procurement Company, which is responsible for purchasing the entire production of the Dumat Al Jandal project, said: “We are pleased with the arrival of 20 wind turbines for the Dumat Al Jandal wind energy project, and we thank the winning consortium for all the efforts they are making in the construction of the plant to achieve its commercial operation on time.”

    Khawandanah added: “Dumat Al Jandal is our first wind energy project producing electricity at scale, and as a key project under the King Salman Renewable Energy Initiative, it is playing a key role in diversifying Saudi Arabia’s power mix sustainably. Dumat Al Jandal reflects our strong partnership with the private sector and the commercial viability of wind energy, which is enabling us to establish a competitive renewable energy sector in the Kingdom while reducing our carbon emissions in line with the Vision 2030.”

    Frédéric Belloy, EDF Renewables’ International Executive Vice President, declared: “We are very pleased to be part of this important step forward in the Saudi Arabia energy transition with the delivery of the first wind turbines dedicated to a utility-scale wind farm in the Kingdom. This key construction milestone in the largest wind farm of the Middle East highlights the progress achieved in the delivery phase of the project by the consortium and its suppliers thanks to the support of the Kingdom’s authorities and entities in charge of implementing the National Renewable Energy Program.”

    Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, said: “The delivery of the first batch of wind turbines is a significant landmark in the development of the Dumat Al Jandal wind farm and the realization of Saudi Arabia’s wider renewable energy program to which we are fully committed with our partners. In addition to being the largest wind farm in the region, and the most cost-efficient of its type, Dumat Al Jandal is committed to achieving a lasting positive community impact through procuring skills and materials in Saudi Arabia, supporting local jobs and businesses, and accelerating knowledge transfer.”

    Muhamed Bou-Zeid, General Manager of Vestas Middle East and North Africa, said: “At Vestas, we are committed to leading the global energy transition to foster sustainable economic growth. With over 40 years of experience in the wind industry and 115GW of installed capacity worldwide, Vestas brings its pioneering solutions closer to our customers to support the region’s transition to a decarbonized and decentralized energy system. Saudi Arabia is ready to make that transition and become a beacon of green energy and sustainability for its neighboring countries to follow suit. We are very pleased to be part of the Kingdom’s vision and success, and we look forward to establishing ourselves in the country for many years to come.”

    About EDF Renewables

    EDF Renewables is a leading international player in renewable energies, with a gross installed capacity of 12.7 GW worldwide. Its development is mainly focused on wind and solar photovoltaic power. EDF Renewables operates primarily in Europe and North America but continues to grow by moving into promising emerging regions such as Brazil, China, India, South Africa, and the Middle East. The company has strong positions in offshore wind power, but also in other areas of the renewable energies industry, such as energy storage. EDF Renewables develops, builds, operates, and maintains renewable energies projects for itself and third parties. EDF Renewables is the EDF Group subsidiary specializing in developing solar and wind power.

    About Masdar

    Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company Masdar is advancing the commercialization and deployment of renewable energy, sustainable urban development, and clean technologies to address global sustainability challenges. Wholly owned by Mubadala Investment Company, the strategic investment company of the Government of Abu Dhabi, our mandate is to help maintain the UAE’s leadership in the global energy sector while supporting the diversification of both its economy and energy sources for the benefit of future generations. Today, Masdar is active in more than 30 countries, including the UAE, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Mauritania, Egypt, Morocco, the UK, the US, Australia, Spain, Serbia, India, Indonesia, Uzbekistan, and many more.

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