OPWP has announced it will launch the qualification process for its second 500 MW solar independent power producer (IPP) tender in the fourth quarter of this year.
In its seven-year Statement 2018-2024, the OPWP said that the launch of the new tender is subject to confirmation of site access from the Ministry of Housing, and that the size of the tender may be even bigger, depending on its market assessments.
The country’s utility also said it is planning for solar energy development to occur at multiple sites, with some tenders eventually involving multiple developer awards.
Including the 500 MW solar IPP tender it launched in late 2017, and the upcoming tender by the end of this year, the OPWP is aiming to deploy 2 GW of solar capacity by 2024. This additional GW is expected to come from two more tenders of the same kind, which are expected to be issued in 2019 and 2020.
The project under the first tender is scheduled to become operational in 2021, while those under the following three tenders are set to come online in 2022, 2023, and 2024, respectively.
OPWP said that the specific solar generation technology may differ among the tenders, although it failed to provide more details.
As for the first tender – the Ibri II Solar IPP project – OPWP released requests for proposals to prequalified applicants in early June. Earlier in April, meanwhile, it revealed the names of the 12 pre-qualified applicants, while the list of all 28 applicants was released in early March.
The US$500 million solar PV park will be developed as an independent power project (IPP), and will be located in Ibri, around 300 km west of Muscat. The feasibility study for the huge solar park was finalized by the OPWP in late October.