RIYADH: A consortium led by Abu Dhabi’s Masdar has started construction of a solar power plant in Jeddah, after reaching financial close on the project.
The consortium, which includes France’s EDF Renewables and Saudi Arabia-based Nesma Co., announced it will start construction of the 300-megawatt utility-scale plant that will begin operation next year.
The plant is located in Third Jeddah Industrial City, 50 kilometers southeast of Jeddah.
“Saudi Arabia is fast developing into a global renewable energy player, and Masdar will continue to work closely with the Saudi government and our partners here to help the Kingdom achieve its clean energy transition,” Masdar chief Mohamed Jameel Al-Ramahi said in a statement.
The Kingdom’s Renewable Energy Project Development Office awarded the consortium the project after it had submitted the most competitive bid of SR60.9 ($16.2) per megawatt hour, the companies said.
The new plant forms part of Saudi Arabia’s clean energy strategy, where it wants to diversify its power mix and aims to generate 50 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman earlier signed seven power purchase agreements for new solar plants in Saudi Arabia following the inauguration of the Sakaka plant.
The Jeddah solar plant will utilize the latest technology in the PV market, combining bifacial PV modules with mounting structures that utilize single-axis tracking technology to maximize energy generation by following the sun’s position throughout the day. State-of-the-art robots will also be used to clean the modules.
In 2019, a consortium led by EDF Renewables in partnership with Masdar was selected to build a 400 MW utility-scale wind farm in Dumat Al Jandal — Saudi Arabia’s first wind energy project and the largest in the Middle East. The plant will start operation and generate carbon-free electricity by late 2022. On Saturday, Mumbai-headquartered Larsen & Toubro (L&T) secured a contract to build the Sudair solar PV project in Saudi Arabia.
The renewables arm of L&T’s Power Transmission and Distribution business bagged the turnkey engineering, procurement, and construction contract for the Riyadh plant, which has a total capacity of 1.5 gigawatts.
“The project that is coming up in Riyadh province has a 30.8 square kilometer land parcel available to install a total capacity of 1.5GW PV Solar modules with associated single axial tracker and inverters,” the company said in a statement.