Saudi Arabia Initiates Plans for First Major Wind Farm

Spotlight Activity: Saudi Arabia Initiates Plans for First Major Wind Farm

As part of its plans to diversify its energy mix, Saudi Arabia invited developers to submit their bids to operate the first utility-size wind energy project that will be in the northern Al Jouf region. The new wind farm, Dumat Al Jandal, near the Kingdom’s border with Jordan, will cost $500 million and “generate enough power to supply up to 70,000 Saudi households as it connects to the northern electricity grid,” said energy minister Khalid Al Falih. The Renewable Energy Project Development Office (REPDO) received on July 23rd four bids, the lowest came in $21.30 per megawatt hour, placed by a joint venture between EDF and Masdar. Other bids ranged between $23 and $33 from a range of international companies, including Enel, Engie, and Martifer Renewables.

Status: Moving Forward

This is a very good move for Saudi Arabia to reduce its dependency on fossil fuels and carbon emissions. Although solar is the most obvious source of renewable energy for Middle Eastern countries due to the abundant sunlight, wind energy also holds a big potential for the Middle East. This move into wind energy will help diversify Saudi Arabia’s energy portfolio, and also move the country closer to its goal of having 9,000 megawatts produced from renewable energy by 2023. Saudi Arabia’s push into wind energy will also help prove to other Middle Eastern countries that wind energy in the Middle East is a viable and important option for reducing carbon emissions.

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