Saudi Aramco took delivery of the kingdom’s first ever wind turbine from General Electric on Sunday as part of a push to expand its renewable energy footprint.
The state-owned oil giant said took delivery of a 2.75-120 wind turbine that will provide power to Saudi Aramco’s Bulk Plant located in Turaif, in northwest Saudi Arabia.
The wind turbine will generate 2.75 mega watts of power at its peak, supplying enough energy to power around 250 Saudi households.
Saudi Aramco said the turbine will allow it to reduce the amount of diesel its burns for power generation by 18,600 barrels of oil equivalent per year.
The turbine will be officially commissioned in January 2017.
The construction of foundations for the turbine are underway.
First electricity from the turbine is expected to be supplied to the Saudi Aramco Bulk Plant once commissioning of the turbine is complete.
The turbine’s blades will reach a height of about 475 feet (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, Saudi Aramco said.
The rotor’s diameter measures 393 feet, making it 50 percent wider than the wing span of an Airbus 380.
The rotor blade’s tips can travel at up to one-third the speed of sound, Saudi Aramco added.
The wind turbine and its control system have been specifically designed by GE to minimize the potential noise emitted from the rotor blades.
Saudi Aramco said it hopes that wind energy will become a key source of power under the kingdom’s National Renewables Program that was launched in 2010.
The program is expected to deliver a combined 9,500 mega watts generated from wind and solar energy by 2023.
“Saudi Aramco is actively promoting the reduction of energy intensity across the Kingdom by advocating responsible policies, awareness, and energy innovation,” Saudi Aramco’s Executive Head for Power Systems Abdulkarim Al Ghamdi said.