Abu Dhabi’s Masdar-led consortium developing solar project in Jeddah

By Ashika Rajan, Trainee Reporter
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A consortium led by UAE’s Masdar, France-based EDF Renewables, and Saudi’s Nesma Company has announced that it has reached financial close on a 300 megawatt utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) solar power plant in Jeddah and is commencing construction.

The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Energy’s Renewable Energy Project Development Office (REPDO) awarded the consortium the 300 megawatt Jeddah project after it submitted the most cost-competitive bid of $16.24 per megawatt-hour. In January, the consortium and Saudi Power Procurement Company (SPPC) signed a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the project. The consortium will design, finance, construct and operate the facility, which will be located 50 kilometers south of Jeddah in Third Jeddah Industrial City. The plant is scheduled to open in 2022.

Mr. Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi Chief Executive Officer Masdar remarked that “this project demonstrates Masdar’s commitment to Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 objectives and its climate goals. Through its National Renewable Energy Programme, 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 while reducing environmental impacts in line with the Saudi Green Initiative.”

The Jeddah solar plant will utilize the latest technology in the PV market, integrating bifacial PV modules with single-axis tracking mounting structures to maximize energy production by following the sun’s location during the day. The modules can also be cleaned using state-of-the-art robots.

Mr. Bruno Bensasson, EDF Group Senior Executive Vice-President Renewable Energies pointed out that “we would like to thank Saudi Arabia’s authorities for the official award of the 300 MW-Jeddah project today. We are delighted to pursue our commitment to contribute to the energy transition of the Middle East with this new solar plant project alongside our partners Masdar and Nesma.”

Related: UAE, Saudi Arabia non-oil sector maintains steady growth in March: IHS Markit


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