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Saudi Aramco and GE deliver first wind turbine to Saudi Arabia

Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The first wind turbine has been delivered to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and will be commissioned in January 2017, it has been announced.

In a news release on Sunday, Saudi Aramco said the delivery of the turbine marked an "historic milestone for renewable energy" in the oil rich Kingdom.

Saudi Aramco said that it had partnered with GE to show the "viability" of wind power in Saudi Arabia. The turbine will be located in the north west of the Kingdom, in Turaif, and will provide power to Saudi Aramco's Bulk Plant there.

The tips of the turbine's blades will reach 145 meters in height and it will produce 2.75 megawatts of power at its peak, enough energy to meet the needs of roughly 250 Saudi homes, Saudi Aramco said.

"Saudi Aramco is actively promoting the reduction of energy intensity across the Kingdom by advocating responsible policies, awareness, and energy innovation," Abdulkarim Al Ghamdi, executive head for power systems at Saudi Aramco, said in a news release.

A huge exporter of oil, Saudi Arabia is looking to strengthen its renewable energy credentials. Under the Saudi Vision 2030 plan, authorities there have set themselves the target of producing 9.5 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030.

"With the arrival of the first GE wind turbine in the Kingdom, we are demonstrating our strong commitment to support the aim of diversifying the energy mix," Hisham Albahkali, GE's President & CEO for Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, said.

"This is a momentous occasion as it highlights that wind energy generation in the Kingdom is 'real' and heralds a new era of renewable energy that clearly shows to the world that action is being taken to support the renewable goals of Saudi Vision 2030," Albahkali added.