ACWA Power has announced the successful connection of the Sakaka Solar PV Plant — the first renewable energy project in the Kingdom — to the national grid. The project has commenced initial production under a pilot phase according to schedule — with full commercial operation to be achieved before the end of the year 2019.
The solar project has established a 100 percent local employment rate within the first year of operation, with 90 percent of the workforce comprising youths from Al-Jouf region. Additionally, Sakaka PV IPP registered more than 30 percent of contractual local content during the construction and development phases. The project has also recorded more than 3 million safe working hours without any injuries during development and construction.
Mohammad Abunayyan, chairman of ACWA Power, said: “The successful energizing of Sakaka PV IPP is a remarkable testament of the work progress that has been ongoing at the project. We are confident to deliver the project on schedule and commercial operation of the plant before the end of this year at the highest levels of quality, safety, and security.
“ACWA Power is proud to contribute to the sustainable development efforts of the Kingdom through the deployment of the Sakaka PV project, which accelerated the pace of renewable energy utilization and bolstered the fulfillment of energy demand in the Kingdom. In alignment with the goals of Vision 2030, Sakaka PV IPP has successfully contributed to the economic diversification, development of human capital and the elevation of national competencies to ensure a better future for upcoming generations.”
Abunayyan commended the efforts of the partners of the project, noting in particular the support of the Ministry of Energy represented by the Renewable Energy Project Development Office (REPDO), from the initial inception of the project to date. He also expressed gratitude toward the Saudi Electricity Company (principal buyer) and Al-Gihaz Holding (project partner).
The SR1.2 billion ($320 million) Sakaka plant is the first utility scale renewable energy project in Saudi Arabia under the King Salman Renewable Energy Initiative.