Oman’s largest utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) Independent Power Project (IPP), which is expected to start operation at Ibri in Al Dhahirah Governorate this month, will contribute to the Sultanate’s commitments under the Paris Agreement, to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
The newly released 2020 Annual Report by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which had pitched in with funding support for the 500 megawatts (MW) solar park, Ibri II, adds that the project will help to diversify the country’s energy mix and meet its increasing needs for electricity.
The $400-million project, built, owned and operated by a consortium led by ACWA Power, is in line with the government’s National Energy Strategy 2040, which aims to generate 10 percent of the country’s energy from renewable sources by 2025 and 30 percent by 2030.
“Extending over 13 million square meters and containing about 1.4 million solar panels, the solar park will provide renewable energy for about 33,000 homes once completed and avoid the emission of approximately 800,000 tons of CO2-equivalent per year, contributing to achieving Oman’s nationally determined contribution under the Paris Agreement,” AIIB stated in its report.
AIIB’s Board of Directors approved financing of up to $60 million for the Ibri II 500 MW Solar PV IPP, which is approximately 15 percent of the total project cost. AIIB’s involvement has also encouraged regional investors and institutions to give wider support to the project.
“AIIB had been the leading voice on the project, ensuring that the project itself was prepared for and committed to upholding the highest environmental and social standards,” said Mr. Seung Myun Lee, Senior Operations Management Officer at AIIB and Project Team Leader of the Ibri II project.
AIIB’s participation in the project is aligned with its mission of financing ‘Infrastructure for Tomorrow’, which commits the Bank to invest in sustainable development projects. Projects like Ibri II support Oman’s climate goals under the Paris Agreement. The project is the largest solar farm to date in Oman and is co-financed with several international and regional lenders, with AIIB leading direct private capital mobilization.
Ibri II will generate 1,598 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity annually at full capacity. The project will boost the availability of renewable power generation capacity and improve the balance between supply and demand during the peak hours of Oman’s Main Interconnected System grid.
“Ibri II has already boosted the local economy, creating jobs and stimulating demand for local goods, despite the challenges posed by COVID-19 during the run-up to the project’s commercial launch,” AIIB added in its report.