Petroleum Development Oman’s (PDO) Amin Solar IPP Project was successfully registered with the International Renewable Energy Certificates (IREC) Standard Registry which allows for the plant’s energy to be tracked and traced after it enters the electricity grid.
International Renewable Energy Certificates (IREC) makes it possible to link ownership rights of electricity from the place of production to the place of consumption by issuing a certificate for each MWh produced from the power plant. The registration of the project, which was completed in co-ordination of The Climate Affairs Department at Oman’s Civil Aviation Authority, paved the way for the first batch of IRECs, amounting to 206,506 MWh, issued by Three Pillars Consulting (TPC) which is the local issuer of IREC in Oman.
These IRECs can now be repurposed towards decarbonisation targets or traded in the open market.
Located near Nimr (approximately 300 km Northeast of Salalah) in PDO’s Block 6 concession area, the Amin solar project is owned and operated by Amin Renewable Energy Company S.A.O.C. (AREC) whose shareholders include Marbobini, OQ, Bahwan Renewable Energy Company, and Nebras Power QPSC from Qatar.
Chairman of Amin Renewable Energy Company (AREC) Dr Firas Al Al Abduani said: “This is a win-win for all parties involved in the scheme, as we were and are able to contribute to PDO’s decarbonisation objectives by moving away from conventional power generation to the more economical renewable energy generation.
“The verification and issuance of these certificates is the first milestone in a journey of ensuring that Oman meets the international aspiration of clean energy and green molecules certification frameworks.”
“Without a verifiable certificate in hand, it would not be possible for any single company to claim that their energy comes from zero-carbon electricity for their (Scope 2) Green House Gas (GHG) reporting.”
PDO Technical Director, Sami Baqi Al Lawati, said: “This is a great example of collaboration between key industry players in ensuring that we collectively play our role in Oman’s industrial decarbonization, in line with the 2040 vision.
“At PDO, we continue to identify opportunities to decarbonise our hydrocarbon portfolio with notable advancement already made to address climate, environmental and sustainability challenges, in parallel to us delivering sustainable and equitable growth.
“We’ve also set strategic targets as part of these efforts, with Amin contributing to reduce about quarter a million of carbon emissions per year from our grid.”
Ms. Najla Al Jamali, Chief Executive Alternative Energy at OQ said; “This is another successful achievement of an important milestone in this outstanding project which is also a clear testimony of OQ’s efforts in championing Oman’s ambitious plans towards the journey of decarbonisation.
The IREC Standard Foundation is a non-profit organization that redeveloped the International Attribute Tracking Standard in April 2021, to clarify the roles between the foundation and market facilitators.
Executive Director of the IREC Standard Foundation Jared Braslawsky explains: “This is a much-needed step and development in the energy market, as it brings robust, transparent, and reliable tracking of renewable energy in the grid. It can be a stepping stone for innovative procurement options that can have significant impact on the electricity generation of Oman.”
The CEO of TPC Dr. Michael Tsang said: “IRECs for electricity are a powerful tool because they allow end-users and energy consumers to make a reliable and meaningful claim that they are consuming clean, carbon-free, renewable energy”.
Going into its third year of operation, the Amin 105 MW(ac) solar photovoltaic power plant is one such project. The project was a first of its kind in Oman when it was commissioned in May 2020, being the first large, utility scale solar electric power plan in the Sultanate. To date, it has generated more than 800,000 MWh of renewable energy.
Oman has embarked on the energy transition journey with key milestones including the issuance of its small-scale grid-connected system regulatory framework. Most importantly, clean energy has become a cornerstone in the electricity system’s planning. Today, there are three large-scale solar photovoltaic power plants, one large-scale wind plant, and a myriad of small-to-medium solar PV projects spread out from the north to the south of the country.
These projects feed renewable energy into the grid in order of gigawatt-hours (GWh) per day and is helping Oman to move towards sustainable sources of energy, while reducing dependency on fossil fuels and decreasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
These projects are only possible with clear national champions advocating and implementing decarbonisation projects economically and with a clear objective of developing local capabilities.