Oman’s 500 MW Manah 1 solar plant enters new construction phase

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Construction is set to enter a new phase as solar PV modules have begun arriving at Oman’s Manah 1 solar plant. The 500 MW solar facility is under construction in the Wilayat of Manah in Al Dakhiliyah Governorate. The Manah 1 Solar plant is expected to have over 1 million PV modules installed over the following months.

A 7.8 km2 site is currently being prepped for the installation of the PV modules, according to Eng Al Rawahi, the CEO of Wadi Noor Solar Power. Piles and supporting structures are being set into place in preparation for the start of installation of the modules, slated to commence next month. When eventually brought into operation, the movement of the PV modules will be guided by fully automated single axis trackers. Moreover, automatic cleaning robots will regularly make sure the modules remain clean.

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Cost of the Manah 1 solar plant

The US$459 million project will have 400kV HV cables used to distribute the renewable energy generated to the local 400kV grid station of Oman Electricity Transmission Company (OETC). “These are bifacial modules capable of generating power from top and bottom faces of the modules. There are 2 bin class capacities for Manah-1 project: 585W and 590W modules. The PV modules will be mounted on single axis trackers. This maximizes power generation throughout the day,” Eng Al Rawahi told the Observer.

EDF-KOWEPO consortium breaks ground on Oman's 500 MW Manah 1 solar IPP

Manah 1 Solar Plant Project Team

The solar facility is being developed by Wadi Noor Solar Power Company. The PV modules for the project are being supplied by JA Solar, a leading Chinese manufacturer of high-performance photovoltaic products. Chinese EPC contractor Shanghai Electric Company is undertaking the construction of Manah-I Solar IPP. This is being done through its local subsidiary Shanghai Electric Muscat Ltd SPC. Featured among Fortune China’s Top 500 companies, JA Solar has shipped PV modules to markets around the world aggregating over 166 GW in capacity as of Q3 2023.

Construction begins at Oman's Manah 1 Solar PV Plant

Wadi Noor Solar Power Company SAOC represents the consortium of leading French developer EDF Renewables and Korea Western Power Co Ltd (KOWEPO). It was awarded the Omani government’s mandate to implement Manah-I Solar PV scheme as an Independent Power Project (IPP).

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Commercial Operation

Manah I Solar Power is expected to start commercial operation in the first quarter of 2025. Once operational, it is estimated to power over 50,000 Omani households with green renewable electricity. Additionally, it will offset more than 700,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum. Manah-1 and Manah Solar II are located adjacent to each other at a site in Manah.  “The project is targeting a minimum of 20% in-country value (ICV) during the EPC phase by sourcing locally manufactured items, employing local workforce and deploying local subcontractors and service providers,” said Eng Al Rawahi.

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Manah Solar 2

Manah Solar 2 will also have a total capacity of 500 MW. It will be constructed on over 680.35 hectares. The ground-mounted solar project is currently under construction by Jinko Power Technology and Sembcorp Utilities. What’s more, it is expected to be commissioned by May 2025. The power generated from the project will be sold to Oman Power and Water Procurement under a power purchase agreement for a period of 20 years.