The PV facility was completed a month and a half ahead of schedule by Saudi energy company ACWA Power. The project will sell power at $0.0236/kWh.
In the third in a series of interviews on renewable energy and geopolitics, Indra Overland — head of the Center for Energy Research (NUPI) and a research panel member for the Global Commission on the Geopolitics of the Energy Transition at IRENA — discusses how Saudi Arabia is dealing with the energy transition. He also outlines the challenges the Middle Eastern country will face in the coming decades, as it shifts to a less oil-dependent economy. Although the country recently set new solar and renewable energy targets, Overland believes that the geopolitical balance in the Middle East could shift to countries such as Iran in the coming decades, even if the Saudi commitment to renewable energy proves genuine.
The Faisaliah Solar Power Project is planned to be developed in several stages by the Saudi Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources and the Development Authority of Mecca. Only 600 MW of the project will be tendered by the REPDO, while the remaining 2 GW will be built by the country’s Public Investment Fund along with its partners.
The Renewable Energy Project Development Office is tendering seven large-scale IPP solar projects. The exercise is part of Round 2 of the Saudi National Renewable program, which is expected to allocate almost 2.2 GW of PV capacity this year.
The Renewable Energy Project Development Office of Saudi Arabia is planning to tender 11 PV power projects with a combined capacity of 2,225 MW this year. The country’s solar target for 2023 has been revised up from 5.9 GW to 20 GW, and that for 2030 set at 40 GW.
Although the Saudi authorities were expected to launch tenders for 3.3 GW of solar last year, these were postponed. According to local industry sources, when new targets for renewables are set and more clarity on solar capacity expansion provided, the first tenders will be issued. The new targets are expected to also include the ambitious 200 GW project announced by the Saudi Government last March.
The project, tendered by the Saudi authorities in February, will be built by a new company which is 70% controlled by the energy giant and 30% by contractor AlGihaz Holding. The plant will sell power to the Saudi Power Procurement Company at $0.0236/kWh.
The launch of the series of tenders was confirmed to pv magazine by Turki Mohammed Al Shehri, the head of the Saudi Renewable Energy Project Development Office.
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