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S Arabia selects bidders for 1.47 GW of solar capacity

The Sakaka solar power plant in Saudi Arabia. Source: ACWA Power

April 6 (Renewables Now) - Saudi Arabia has published a list of shortlisted bidders that will compete for the installation of close to 1.5 GW of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity across the Kingdom.

The developers were selected following a Request for Proposals (RFP) in the second round of the country’s National Renewable Energy Program (NREP), under two separate categories. The first one targets two solar projects with a combined capacity of 70 MW, while the second one covers four PV schemes totalling 1,400 MW.

Category A includes the 50-MW Madinah and 20-MW Rafha projects. According to data by the Renewable Energy Project Development Office (REPDO) of Saudi Arabia’s energy ministry, two bidders were shortlisted for each of the two projects. Category B, meanwhile, includes the Al-Faisaliah (600 MW), Jeddah (300 MW), Rabigh (300 MW) and Qurrayat (200 MW) projects. A total of four bids were submitted for each of the four schemes.

Two consortia with almost identical bid prices offered the two lowest tariffs for Al-Faisaliah -- Abu Dhabi Future Energy Co, known as Masdar, and International Company for Water and Power Projects (ACWA Power). Their bids were “extremely close” and the difference in levelised cost of energy (LCOE) was “within statistical margin of error,” REPDO said. The agency will publish results of the bids later this month.

The lowest offered price stood at SAR 0.0609042 (USD 0.01624/EUR 0.01502) per kWh and was for the Jeddah project. Details about all shortlisted bidders and price details are available in the following table.

  Project name Capacity (MW) Shortlisted bidder LCOE  (in SAR per kWh)
Category A Madinah 50 Al Blagha Holding for Investments Co/Al Fanar Co/Desert Technologies Industries 0.0727533
First Solar International Middle East/Mowah Co CJSC 0.1135
Rafha 20 Al Blagha Holding for Investments Co/Al Fanar Co/Desert Technologies Industries 0.130772
First Solar International Middle East FZ-LLC/Mowah Co CJSC 0.1904
Category B Jeddah 300 Masdar/EDF Renouvelables/Nesma Holding Co 0.0609042
ACWA Power/Gulf Investment Corp/Al-Babtain Contracting Co 0.06215
Rabigh 300 Marubeni Corp/Al Jomaih Energy and Water Co 0.06381138
ACWA Power/Gulf Investment Corp/Al-Babtain Contracting Co 0.06597
Qurrayat 200 ACWA Power/Gulf Investment Corp/Al-Babtain Contracting Co 0.06688
Total Solar Intl/Al Gihaz Holding Co/Altaaqa Alternative Solutions 0.0678555

Successful developers will be awarded 25-year power purchase agreements (PPAs). At least 17% of local content is required in both categories.

Saudi Arabia launched NREP in 2017 to lift the share of renewables in its overall power mix. The first round of the programme facilitated the installation of the 300-MW Sakaka solar park and the 400-MW Dumat Al Jandal wind farm. The scheme’s third round, targeting 1.2 GW of solar capacity, was opened in January.

(SAR 1.0 = USD 0.267/EUR 0.247)

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Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.

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