Saudi Aramco has taken the delivery of the first wind turbine in the country supplied by General Electric (GE).
The construction of the foundations for the turbine are underway, and electricity is expected to be supplied to the Saudi Aramco bulk plant once commissioning of the wind turbine is completed in January 2017.
The 2.75-120 wind turbine will provide power to Saudi Aramco’s bulk plant located in Turaif, in northwest Saudi Arabia.
The demonstration project has been developed by Saudi Aramco in partnership with GE to highlight the viability of deploying wind power in the country.
Wind energy will become a key source of power under the National Renewables Programme, which will deliver a combined 9,500 megawatts (MW) to the country from wind and solar energy by 2023.
Abdulkarim Al Ghamdi, executive head for power systems, Saudi Aramco said: “Saudi Aramco is actively promoting the reduction of energy intensity across the Kingdom by advocating responsible policies, awareness, and energy innovation.
“This milestone has been made possible with the skills and knowledge Saudi Aramco has attained over decades as the Kingdom’s reliable supplier of energy and those of our partner, GE, as a wind industry leader.”
Once commissioned in January 2017, tips of the wind turbine blades will reach a height of 145 meters, or almost half the height of Riyadh’s Kingdom Tower.
The diameter of the wind turbine rotor blades will dwarf the span of the World’s largest passenger jet.
At 120 metres, the rotor diameter is 50% wider than the wing span of an Airbus 380.
The wind turbine and its control system have been specifically designed by GE to minimise the potential noise emitted from the rotor blades, the tips of which can travel at one third the speed of sound.
The wind turbine which arrived to Jubail port in October, will be transported on a twelve vehicle convoy from Dammam to Turaif.