Transforming Together: GE and Aramco to Install KSA’s 1st Wind Turbine
Saudi Arabia has long exploited its energy resources below ground; it will soon begin tapping for the first time a valuable energy resource aboveground as well – wind energy.
The Renewables Department of Saudi Aramco Power Systems and GE are partnering to install the Kingdom’s first wind turbine. Set to begin delivering power to the Saudi Aramco Turaif Bulk Plant before the end of the year, the project represents the first regional installation of the GE 2.75-120 Wind Turbine.
The local GE team will access the GE Store to draw on the company’s global fleet operating experience in desert areas as it works with Saudi Aramco to customize the wind turbine. These customizations will optimize the turbine’s performance for the Kingdom’s climate. The GE Store provides every GE business with access to all of the global organization’s technologies, solutions and knowledge.
Through this joint localization work, Saudi Aramco and GE teams are building expertise in executing wind projects in the Kingdom that can be used in future projects. Saudi Vision 2030 initial target is to generate 9.5 gigawatts of electricity from wind and solar energy .
The wind turbine features a 120-meter rotor in combination with 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. The turbine will reduce the Turaif bulk plant’s consumption of diesel fuel, which has been the primary fuel source.
“We are committed to meeting the Kingdom’s energy demand efficiently through our power systems fuel optimization program and by developing renewable energy options,” explained Abdulaziz Al-Judaimi, Vice President of Power Systems for Saudi Aramco. “This project complements the strategic goals outlined by Saudi Vision 2030, which seeks to leverage the expertise of Saudi and international entities to strengthen the adoption of renewable energy.”
Several studies have confirmed the potential for wind energy generation in the Kingdom, particularly along the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf coasts, but also in central regions, including the far north, such as Turaif, near the Jordanian border. According to the DTU Global Wind 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 announcement of this agreement between Saudi Aramco and GE to develop wind power in Turaif follows a series of agreements that GE announced with leading Saudi companies during GE Chairman & CEO Jeffrey Immelt’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia.
Collectively, the agreements seek to create more than 4,000 new and high-value jobs for Saudis, provide training to 1,000 Saudi women in industrial fields, help establish Saudi Arabia as a global manufacturing and digital industrial hub, support the introduction of new industries into the Kingdom, foster a robust SME supply chain, drive exports, and boost productivity and efficiency across the energy, aviation, healthcare and digital sectors.
GE has a long and deeply rooted history in Saudi Arabia, extending back more than 80 years. Working with government and private sector partners, GE has supported the Kingdom’s development in aviation, healthcare, oil & gas, power, transportation and water.