Saudi Arabia Awards First NREP Solar Project
• ACWA Power selected to develop 300 MW of Solar PV in Sakaka, Al Jouf region • Project to reach financial close by February 28, 2018 and start commercial operation in 2019 • H.E. Khalid Al Falih, Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources: “The project is expected to involve a total private sector capital investment of about $300 million and will create job opportunities for more than 400 individuals, as Saudi Arabia takes its first step on the road to energy diversification and renewable energy leadership”
The Renewable Energy Project Development Office (REPDO) of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources (MEIM) has awarded, under the National Renewable Energy Program (NREP), its first solar PV project in Sakaka to renewable energy developer ACWA Power. Representatives from ACWA Power will sign the PPA with the principal buyer, the Saudi Power Procurement Company (SPPC), on Wednesday February 7th in Riyadh.
His Excellency Khalid Al Falih, Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, said: “The Kingdom has taken its first step on the road to diversifying its domestic energy mix as part of a long-term, sustainable economic vision and a goal of becoming a leader in renewable energy. The development of the 300 MW Sakaka Solar PV project is expected to involve a total private sector capital investment of about $300 million and will create job opportunities for more than 400 people.”
“When the National Renewable Energy Program was launched last year, we set a goal to make it among the most attractive and well-executed government renewable energy investment programmes in the world. After a competitive and transparent tendering process, which saw us receive two world record breaking bids, we can confidently say that we are well on our way to making that a reality, and we look forward to entering the next stage for our National Renewable Energy Program.”
Commenting on winning the 300 MW Sakaka Solar PV project, Mohammad bin Abdullah Abunayyan, Chairman of ACWA Power, said: "We are honoured to win the Sakaka Solar PV project, which adds up to our achievements in the renewable energy sector in the UAE, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, South Africa and Bulgaria, generating more than 1,950 MW and a project portfolio of more than SAR 34 billion. We presented a competitive and integrated offer complying with all required conditions, specifications and standards. The significance of the Sakaka solar PV project lies in it being the first of a series of renewable energy projects in Saudi Arabia, giving a strong kick-off to this vital sector in the near future, and driving the localization of the power generation industry in the Kingdom. So, our team has harnessed our expertise to provide the lowest possible tariff worldwide, as well as increasing the local content and training the Saudi capabilities and enabling the industrial and service sectors within the supply chains. ACWA Power has an outstanding portfolio of world records on different levels, like providing the latest technologies, the lowest tariffs, the highest thermal storages at night, generating solar power around the clock, increasing the operational efficiency and delivering the projects before due deadlines without compromising quality, safety and security.”
The combination of increased local content requirements and the offering of large-to-small scale projects in 2018 provide attractive opportunities for domestic and international investments into renewable energy manufacturing capability in Saudi Arabia. In pursuit of achieving localisation targets, REPDO has launched an online portal dedicated to presenting Saudi based manufacturers to international developers participating in the NREP.