Mideast’s largest wind farm in Saudi Arabia reaches halfway mark

Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman; Al-Jouf Governor Prince Faisal Bin Nawaf; French Ambassador Ludovic Pouille; Danish Ambassador Ole Mosby; Bruno Bensasson; EDF group senior executive vice-president renewable energies and Fawaz Al Muharrami; acting executive director; clean energy; Masdar visited the Dumat Al Jandal wind farm construction site; for a site visit in order to mark the completion of 50 percent of the project.

The 400-megawatt (MW) utility-scale project; Saudi Arabia’s first wind farm and further the largest in the Middle East; is being developed by a consortium led by EDF Renewables and Masdar; two of the world’s leading renewable energy companies.

The installation of the first turbines also began on the site; located 900km north of Riyadh; in the Al Jouf region of Saudi Arabia; in August 2020; and further the project is expected to be completed in 2022. The wind farm will comprise 99 wind turbines; also each with a power output of 4.2 MW. The first power produced by the wind farm is expected in the coming weeks.

Clean energy

When complete; Dumat Al Jandal will generate clean energy that also can power up to 70;000 Saudi households per year; while the project will save 988;000 tons of CO₂ per year in support of the Kingdom’s climate change mitigation goals.

Under Saudi Arabia’s National Renewable Energy Program; the Ministry of Energy awarded the $500 million Dumat Al Jandal wind farm in order to the EDF Renewables-Masdar consortium in January 2019 after it submitted the most cost-competitive bid of $21.3 per megawatt hour (MWh). At financial close; the project made a 6.5 percent gain on levelized cost of energy (LCOE) that reached $19.9/MWh.

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

Osama Bin Abdulwahab Khawandanah; chief executive officer of Saudi Power Procurement Company; which is also responsible for purchasing the entire production of the Dumat Al Jandal project; said: “It is indeed a great pleasure to know that Masdar and EDF Renewables have successfully achieved this key construction milestone of the 400 MW wind power plant installed at Dumat Al-Jandal; which shall also energize the first phase of the project with KSA grid system in the coming weeks.

First Saudi wind farm

“This project shall be the first large utility-scale wind farm in the Kingdom. Saudi Power Procurement Company (SPPC) will purchase all electricity production from this markedly green energy project as principal buyer (the energy off-taker) as per the executed long-term contract of 20 years. My heartfelt congratulations to the project company management and further their team members on this accomplishment.”

EDF’s Bensasson declared: “It is an honor to contribute to the Kingdom’s energy transition with the construction of Dumat Al Jandal wind farm; the most powerful in the Middle East. We are grateful to the authorities and further the entities in charge of implementing the National Renewable Energy Program for their support.

“With half of the power plant already installed; we are now looking forward to successfully reaching; with our partners and contractors; the full commissioning of the project in the months to come.”

Moreover; Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi; CEO of Masdar; said: “Masdar is proud to be leveraging its experience in renewable energy to deliver the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s first wind farm in collaboration with our partners. The completion of half of the project marks an important milestone and further, we look forward to seeing the project’s progression over the coming months.”

“As a global leader in the development of commercially viable wind power; Masdar is committed to advancing clean technology across the region and moreover we will continue our efforts to support the country’s ambitious energy program;” he added.