MUSCAT, FEB 29 - The developers of Oman's first utility-scale solar project are preparing to bring the landmark scheme into operation. Amin Renewable Energy Company (AREC), a consortium led by the Marubeni Corporation, had been awarded a contract by Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) to develop, finance, operate and maintain a 105 MW solar PV plant at Amin in the latter's oilfield concession in south Oman.

Last week, top officials of PDO led by Managing Director Raoul Restucci visited the sprawling solar farm near Thamrait for a briefing of the plant and a tour of the project. The visit was preceded by a number of initiatives by AREC to prepare the nation's maiden large-scale solar plant for commercial operations, slated during May this year.

The Amin project is Oman's first renewables-based Independent Power Project (IPP) awarded by PDO to support its oilfield operations in Amin. PDO is also the offtaker of the electricity output from the solar plant under a 23-year Power Purchase Agreement signed with Amin Renewable Energy Company.

Significantly, the solar farm is also billed as the first photovoltaic (PV) project in Oman and the biggest single-unit solar park in the world to use N-type bifacial modules, which generate less heat and can withstand the desert's temperature fluctuations. In addition, the modules' design reduces the impact of dust storms which are frequent in the area, according to its Chinese manufacturers. Amin Renewable Energy Company (AREC) is a partnership of Marubeni Corporation, Oman Gas Company SAOC, Bahwan Renewable Energy Company and Nebras.

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