TotalEnergies and Veolia have agreed to start constructing a large solar project to power a desalination plant. Located in the city of Sur in Oman, the power plant will be located on the site of the Sharqiyah Desalination Plant. This project supplies drinking water to more than 600,000 people in the Sharqiyah region and is quite important for the region. This 17 MWp solar project will be the region’s first of its kind when it is installed.

This is in line with Oman’s National Energy Strategy, which calls for a 30 per cent switch to renewable energy sources by 2030. In order to improve energy production, the plant will have more than 32,000 high-efficiency solar panels installed. It will also use an east-west tracker system. It will have a 130,000 square meters surface area.

In May 2022, TotalEnergies agreed to buy 50 per cent of Clearway Energy Group, the fifth-largest renewable energy company in the US. Once completed, this would be TotalEnergies’ largest renewable energy acquisition in the US reportedly. The company stated that it would collaborate with Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) in this deal.

REGlobal’s Views: Desalination projects are quite common in the MENA region where there is scarcity of freshwater and brakish and seawater have to be desalinated before use. Since desalination is an energy-intensive endeavor, solar-based desalination projects are being explored to create more demand for solar power and reduce the consumption of costlier conventional fuels.