Over the next few days the world’s largest oil producer and exporter – Saudi Arabia – will float tenders to set up large-scale wind and solar power projects.
On 20 February, Saudi Arabia will call for proposals by prospective project developers to set up 700 megawatts of solar and wind energy projects. The world’s largest oil producing country plans to set up 300 megawatts of solar and 400 megawatts of wind energy capacity through these auctions.
All the projects are expected to be commissioned in the northern part of the country. Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih expects the bids for these projects to be lowest in the world. Already, the Middle East holds the record for the cheapest solar power project. A consortium of JA Solar and Marubeni won rights to develop 350 megawatts solar PV project in Abu Dhabi at 2.42¢/kWh.
Phase II and III of the Dubai solar power park also saw extremely competitive bidding leading to record-low prices. Interestingly, phase II (200 megawatts) project was awarded to a consortium led by Saudi Arabia-based ACWA Power.
Saudi Arabia has announced plans to set up 9.5 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2023 and a long-term investment of around $30-50 billion in the renewable energy sector.
Results of the auction for these projects is expected to be announced on 17 April.