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Operation, Performance and Maintenance of First Utility-Scale Solar Photovoltaic Plant in Kuwait Oil Company for the Operation of Electric Submersible Pumps
R.A. Sherif, A. Al-Qudaihi, H. Alsaqabi, A. Najaf, E. Safar, R. Al-Ajmi
Operation and Maintenance, Sidrah 500, CO2 Footprint, Solar PV Plant, Kuwait, Solar for ESPs
PV Systems - Performance, Applications and Integration
Subtopic: Operation, Performance and Maintenance of PV Systems
Event: 35th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Session: 6BO.7.6
1578 - 1580
ISBN: 3-936338-50-7
Paper DOI: 10.4229/35thEUPVSEC20182018-6BO.7.6
0,00 EUR
Document(s): paper


This paper presents real-life performance of Sidrah 500, the first utility-scale solar photovoltaic plant installed inside Umm-Gudair oilfield of Kuwait Oil Company (KOC), and first in the world to operate electric submersible pumps (ESPs) used to lift the oil from under the ground. There has been lots of skepticism about the operation of solar PV plants in the harsh weather environment of Kuwait, where temperatures constantly exceed 50 deg. C and relative humidity can exceed 95% during summer months. This 10 MW solar PV plant uses poly-crystalline silicon panels mounted on single axis trackers, and connected to an 11-kV substation synchronizing the electricity from the solar plant and the national grid. The solar plant was commissioned in October 2016, and has been operational now for almost two years. The plant has met its Performance Ratio and generation targets when adjusted with the weather data. The plant showed that there are no practical issues associated with operation of solar PV plants in Kuwait, and future projects ought to take the experience of operation of Sidrah 500 into account. The project has been registered with the UN Clean Development Mechanism, reflecting its environmental benefits that amount to avoiding emission of 250,000 tons of CO2 over its lifetime, which is equivalent to planting 500 thousand Sidrah trees.