In November 2009 the country's electricity ministry launched a prequalification process to select an independent power producer to build, own and operate a 50-100 MW project for a period of 20-25 years.
The wind farm will be located at either Al-Sukhna, 70 kilometres east of Palymra, or Al-Hijana, 50 kilometres south-east of Damascus, or possibly split between the two sites.
Initial surveys indicate wind speeds average over 7 m/s and 6.7 m/s respectively, and both sites have plenty of room for expansion.
The state utility, the Public Establishment of Electricity for Generation & Transmission (PEEGT), will buy the electricity from the project under a guarantee from the Syrian government.
Bids to develop the project must be received by January 25. Shortlisted bidders will be announced in March. They will then have 12 months in which to carry out more detailed wind measurements, after which the ministry will issue a formal request for proposals (RFP).
Two further RFPs are expected in the near future, for 30 MW and 100 MW, to be built on an engineer, procure and construct (EPC) basis.
Syria is keen to diversify its electricity sector, which is based on fossil fuels and hydro. Studies by the National Energy Research Center (NERC) and Riso, the National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy at the Technical University of Denmark, indicate the country has a good wind resource and that renewables could provide up to 10.3% of total energy demand by 2030. In theory, Syria could have as much as 2.5 GW of installed wind power by then.
Meantime, a master plan for energy efficiency and renewable energies to 2030 is in the pipeline, with assistance from the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ).