Saudi Crown Prince unveils the first-ever solar utility-scale project in Kingdom

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Desk Reporter
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Sakaka Plant
Representational Image

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has launched the Sakaka IPP PV power plant, the Kingdom’s first renewable energy project.

According to the reports, the launch of the Sakaka IPP PV and the signing of power purchase agreements (PPA) for seven new ventures are the results of King Salman’s directives and the Kingdom’s goal to develop its economy, in line with Vision 2030’s renewable energy initiatives.

The 300-megawatt Sakaka power plant is the kingdom’s first-ever solar utility-scale project. It has been built for $320 million (1.2 billion Saudi riyals) and is part of the Kingdom’s plan to add 27.3 gigawatts of clean energy to its grid by 2024.

Mohammed bin Salman
Mohammed bin Salman
Crown Prince – Saudi Arabia

“Saudi Arabia aims to nationalize the renewable energy sector, promote the local content in it, and enable the manufacturing of the components of solar and wind energy production locally, allowing the Kingdom, within the next ten years, to become a global hub for conventional energy, renewable energy, and their technologies. A few weeks ago, the ‘Green Saudi’ initiative and the ‘Green Middle East’ initiative were announced. I explained that, as a world-leading oil producer, we are well aware of our share of responsibility in advancing the fight against climate change. In continuation of our leading role in the stability of the energy markets, we will carry on playing the same role to lead in the area renewable energy.”

“This occasion underlines our determination to be leaders in all energy sectors and our endeavor to find the optimal energy mix and promote efficiency in producing and consuming energy. We witness today the launch and operation of Sakaka IPP PV, our first step to utilize renewable energy in the Kingdom. And soon, the construction of the Dumat Al-Jandal wind energy project will also be completed,” the Crown Prince further added.

‘Record’ initiatives

As per the reports, the PPAs were signed for seven new solar power projects in different parts of the Kingdom. The Crown Prince commented that the output potential of these initiatives, in addition to the projects of Sakaka and Dumat Al-Jandal, will total more than 3,600 MW.

He further added that the projects will also power more than 600,000 households and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 7 million tons. Furthermore, these projects, along with other renewable energy initiatives, which are being developed across the Kingdom, constitute essential elements of the country’s plans that seek to optimize the energy mix used to produce electricity.

Some of these ventures have also set new world records for the lowest cost of solar-generated electricity, the reports say

“These projects, along with other renewable energy projects, which are being developed across the Kingdom, constitute essential elements of our plans that seek to optimize the energy mix used to produce electricity. We aim to have the share of each gas and renewable energy in this mix at 50 percent by 2030, and to substitute gas and renewable energy for around a million BOEs of liquid gas per day used as fuel in electricity production, water salination, and other sectors,” the Crown Prince noted.

The Kingdom’s latest initiatives towards sustainability and renewable energy represent important aspects of the country’s leadership role towards shared international issues, and they are part of efforts made by the country during its presidency of the G20 Summit, as per the reports.

Related: World Record; Saudi’s SWCC records lowest water desalination energy usage