Saudi Aramco and GE to install first wind turbine
The initiative is in line with Saudi Vision 2030 as endorsed by the Saudi Cabinet that has set an initial target of generating 9.5 GW of renewable energy
Saudi Aramco and General Electric are partnering to install Saudi Arabia’s first Wind Turbine at the Turaif Bulk Plant, located in the north-west of the Kingdom.
The initiative is in line with Saudi Vision 2030 as endorsed by the Saudi Cabinet that has set an initial target of generating 9.5 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy.
The project marks the first regional installation of GE’s ground-breaking model 2.75-120 Wind Turbine, which has been specifically customized for the Kingdom’s climatic conditions. GE’s Wind Turbine is a digital industrial solution that draws on the Industrial Internet platform by analyzing tens of data points every second to achieve higher levels of energy output and greater operational efficiency.
Abdulaziz Al-Judaimi, Vice President of Power Systems, Saudi Aramco, said: “We are committed to efficiently meeting the Kingdom’s energy demand through our fuel optimization program and by supporting renewable energy development. The demo installation of GE’s Wind Turbine will enable the Saudi Aramco and GE teams to build expertise in executing wind projects in the Kingdom.”
Hisham Albahkali, GE’s President & CEO for Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, said: “The installation of GE’s Wind Turbine by Saudi Aramco, our long-term partner, underlines our commitment to promoting renewable energy in the Kingdom. This state-of-the-art wind turbine is designed for challenging conditions. Building on our global operating experience in desert areas, we have worked with Saudi Aramco’s team to customize the turbine and optimize its performance for the Kingdom. This is a strong example of how we work with our partners to meeting the goals outlined in Saudi Vision 2030.”
Several studies have confirmed the potential for wind energy generation in the Kingdom, particularly in the northern region. According to the Renewable Energy Atlas, higher wind speeds near 8.0 m/s and above (well above a standard economic viability speed of approximately 6 m/s) occur in the northeast and central regions of Saudi Arabia, as well as near mountains in the western region.
The demo Wind Turbine to be installed at Turaif bulk plant will allow the displacement of diesel that is used for power generation in the plant. The wind turbine features a 120-meter rotor in combination with the proven single-blade pitch control. The 2.75-120 offers the latest enhancements in load management controls, low acoustic emissions, efficient electrical power conversion and robust performance.
GE, recently, announced the launch of 10 initiatives with strategic partners including Saudi Aramco, that support the goals of Saudi Vision 2030, including economic diversification, localized manufacturing, human capital development as well as productivity and efficiency enhancement across the energy, aviation, healthcare and digital sectors. In the energy field, GE and Saudi Aramco hope to continue working together to scale renewable energy in Saudi Arabia in pursuit of Saudi Vision 2030.
This article was first published by the Saudi Gazette on June 8, 2016.