Saudi Arabia launches tender for 1.5 GW of solar capacity

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From pv magazine International.

Saudi Arabia’s Renewable Energy Project Development Office (REPDO) has published expressions of interest for the development and construction of seven new solar PV independent power producer projects with a combined potential capacity of 1.515 GW.

The projects will have a power range of 20-600 MW and will be located in several locations. Three of the sites, the 600 MW Al Faisaliah project and the Rabigh and Jeddah schemes – each of 300 MW – will be located near Jeddah. Two projects will be in Al Madinah province, with Madinah the nearest city to the 50 MW Madinah and 20 MW Mahd Al Dahab plants. The list is rounded out by the 45 MW Rafha Solar project in the Northern Borders province, near Rafha city; and the 200 MW Qurayyat Solar scheme in Al Jawf province, near Qurayyat.

The deadline for developers to express intention to participate in the procurement exercise is on February 14.

The tender is part of the second round of the Saudi National Renewable Energy Program (NREP), which this year is expected to allocate around 2.2 GW of solar capacity. REPDO announced new national renewable energy targets this month under which the Saudi government intends to deploy 40 GW of solar as part of an overall 58.7 GW renewables ambition by 2030.

REPDO allocated around 700 MW of renewable energy capacity in the first round of the NREP, with solar having a 300 MW slice in the form of the Sakaka PV project.

That solar tender attracted global attention as it prompted the lowest bid for solar ever submitted, with French energy giant EDF bidding a levelized cost of electricity of only SAR0.06697/kWh (Rs1.27). The record bid was rejected, however, with the successful offer tendered by Saudi energy giant ACWA, at SAR0.08872/kWh.