First Utility-scale Renewable Project Awarded to ACWA Power

Spotlight Activity: First Utility-scale Renewable Project Awarded to ACWA Power

As part of Saudi Arabia’s focus on including renewables in its energy mix, the government invited several energy companies to bid on building the first utility-scale renewable project in the country. ACWA Power announced on February 6th, 2018, that they had out-bid their competitors, and were awarded with the rights to build the 300 megawatt Skaka IPP PV solar project in Al Jouf region. The country’s current biggest solar farm exists in Dhahran and covers the size of the Saudi Aramco parking lot. By comparison, this solar project would cover 6 square kilometers. This project would provide energy to Saudi Arabia at a record-breaking 2.34 US-cents per kilowatt-hour, which is below the cost of fossil fuel-generated electricity. This is a result of the ever-decreasing cost of solar energy, which should help ease Saudi Arabia’s adoption of renewables. The project will cost $300 million, create hundreds of jobs, and generate enough electricity to power roughly 40,000 homes. This is part of Saudi Arabia’s larger objective of eventually investing $7 billion to develop seven new solar plants and a wind farm by the end of the year. The larger goal is to generate 9.5 gigawatts and provide as much as 10% of its power generation from renewables by 2023, with oil being the current primary source of the country’s energy.

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Status: Right Direction

By awarding ACWA Power the right to build the first ever utility-level solar energy project in the country, Saudi Arabia is moving forward in fulfilling its Paris Agreement pledge. For a scale up of this important project around the Kingdom, a series of follow-up bids and contracts will need to be launched and awarded to expand and accelerate the installation of power generation facilities from renewable resources, speed up Saudi Arabia’s adoption of renewables, and enhance the Kingdom’s resilience and climate change adaptability.

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Take Action

To take action, simply fill out your name and email in the form below and the message will be sent.

Your message will be sent to:

Dr. Khaled AbdulKader
Senior Consultant within the Environmental Protection Department of Aramco/ National Renewable Energy Program

Dr. Pieter Smeets
Senior Sustainability Engineer at SABIC/ National Renewable Energy Program

Dr. Lain Mcculouch
Professor of chemical science at KAUST and is also the director of the university & Solar Center/ National Renewable Energy Program

at: COP23Media@meim.gov.sa or media@ksa-climate.com

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