|19 December 2016|
Key stakeholders driving forward Saudi Arabia’s renewable energy ambitions recently celebrated the delivery of the first wind turbine to the country – a historic milestone for renewable energy in the Kingdom.
Supplied by GE, the 2.75-120 wind turbine will provide power to Saudi Aramco’s Bulk Plant located in Turaif, in northwest Saudi Arabia. The demonstration project developed by Saudi Aramco in partnership with GE demonstrates the viability of deploying wind power in the Kingdom. Since the launch of its Renewable Energy team in 2010, Saudi Aramco has been seeking opportunities to advance the Kingdom’s goal for the integration of renewable energy in the energy mix. In 2012, Saudi Aramco kickstarted an extensive resource measurement program that pinpointed the Kingdom’s huge wind resource as perhaps one of the best in the region. Wind energy will become a key source of power under the National Renewables Program, which will deliver a combined 9,500 Mega Watts to the Kingdom from wind and solar energy by 2023.
Hisham Albahkali, GE’s President & CEO for Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, said: “With the arrival of the first GE wind turbine in the Kingdom, we are demonstrating our strong commitment to support the aim of diversifying the energy mix. This is a momentous occasion as it highlights that wind energy generation in the Kingdom is ‘real’ and heralds a new era of renewable energy that clearly shows to the world that action is being taken to support the renewable goals of Saudi Vision 2030.”
The construction of the foundations for the turbine are underway and the first electricity is expected to be supplied to the Saudi Aramco bulk plant once commissioning of the wind turbine is completed in January 2017.