Masdar wins bid to develop 1,100MW Al Henakiyah Solar Plant

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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Al Henakiyah Power Plant development

Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company – Masdar, EDF Renewables and Nesma Company have signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the Saudi Power Procurement Company (SPPC) to develop the 1,100 MW Al Henakiyah solar power plant.

Once operational, it is expected that the project will power more than 190  thousand homes per year and displace more than 1.8 million tons of carbon dioxide annually.

The estimated $1 billion project leverages the expertise of global renewables leaders, Masdar and EDF Renewables, and leading Saudi conglomerate Nesma Company. The Al Henakiyah Solar Plant is expected to reach financial close in early 2024 and connect to the grid in 2025. The SPPC awarded the consortium the project after it submitted the most cost-competitive bid of $16.84 per megawatt hour.

With plans to boost the local economy, at least 19 percent of the equipment, materials and services will be provided by Saudi companies during the construction phase. In addition, during the first 10 years of operations, Saudi nationals will make up 50 percent of the project’s workforce. This proportion will rise to 75 percent during the project’s entire operational life.

Al Henakiyah Solar Plant, in Al Madinah province, Saudi Arabia, will help to achieve the target of increasing the share of the renewables in the country’s energy mix to around 50 percent by 2030. Set to be one of the world’s largest single-site solar plants, the project will be developed, built, owned and operated by the consortium as part of a 25-year agreement with the off-taker SPPC.

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi_Al Henakiyah solar power plant development
Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi
CEO – Masdar

“Masdar is proud to have won the bid to develop the 1,100 megawatt Al Henakiyah Solar Plant, further strengthening our partnership with Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom is a key strategic market for Masdar, and we are committed to supporting the Ministry of Energy and the SPPC achieve the targets set out under Vision 2030 and the Saudi Green Initiative, as the country accelerates its green transition toward net zero emissions by 2060.”

Mr. Bruno Bensasson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of EDF Renewables & EDF Group Senior Executive Vice President, Renewable Energies, said that “The 1,100 MW- Henakiyah solar project is another significant milestone in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for EDF Renewables, and our partners Masdar and Nesma Renewable Energy, which would not have been possible without the full support provided by the Saudi Power Procurement Company and the Ministry of Energy.”

“Together, we are geared to navigate the dynamic landscapes of clean energy enabling a sustainable and prosperous future for Saudi Arabia while supporting the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 to produce 50 percent of its electricity from renewable sources. After the 400 MW Dumat al Jandal wind power farm currently under operation and the 300MW – South Jeddah Solar Park, the journey ahead is promising, and we are wholeheartedly committed to creating lasting value, nurturing a legacy of positive change in the Kingdom and for the generations to come,” Mr. Bensasson added.

Mr. Faisal Alturki, President of Nesma Group, stated that “As Nesma’s flagship renewables business, Nesma Renewable Energy (NRE) is intrinsic to our commitment to proactively support the clean energy and sustainability goals of Saudi Vision 2030. We are therefore extremely proud of the role NRE will play in delivering the Al Henakiyah Solar Project, a ground-breaking initiative in the Kingdom’s renewable energy strategy, and we are confident that the company has an increasingly important role to play in the future.”

“The Al Henakiyah Solar Project is a resounding endorsement of our position at the forefront of the renewables industry in Saudi Arabia. As an industry, we are on an ambitious journey together, and one that will ultimately establish Saudi Arabia as a true global leader in renewable energy generation. This project represents a significant milestone on our way to achieving this,” Mr. Alturki added.

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