The desalination plant in Sur will be powered by a 17-MWp solar facility.

France-based TotalEnergies and utility major Veolia have signed an agreement to start the construction of the largest solar photovoltaic (PV) systems providing power for a desalination plant in the Omani city of Sur.

The power plant will be located on the site of the Sharqiyah desalination plant, which supplies drinking water to more than 600,000 inhabitants of the Sharqiyah region.

This 17-megawatt peak (MWp) solar project will be the first of its kind to be installed in the region. It will produce annually over 30,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of green electricity, or more than a third of the desalination plant's daily consumption, enabling it to avoid close to 300,000 tons of CO2 emissions.

This is in line with Oman’s National Energy Strategy to convert 30 per cent of its electricity use to renewable sources by 2030. The plant will be equipped with more than 32,000 high-efficiency solar panels and will use an innovative East-West tracker system to increase energy production. It will cover an area of 130,000 sq m, equivalent to approximately 18 football pitches.

“At Veolia, we are committed to bring the ecological transformation in the water sector for our clients and for our own assets. We’re happy to launch the construction of the solar plant on our desalination unit in the city of Sur, to be able to power it with the green electricity while drastically reducing its carbon footprint,” Estelle Brachlianoff, Chief Executive Officer of Veolia said.

Yaqoob Al Kiyumi, CEO of Oman Power and Water Procurement company OPWP said: “This initiative is adding another perspective to the goal of having access to clean water in Oman. Employing solar energy as another energy source for desalination operation contributes to the sustainability objectives in Oman.”