January 17 (Renewables Now) - Tenders for more than 4,000 MW of renewable energy capacity are to be launched in Saudi Arabia this year under a national programme for power exports, a government official told The National.
According to the plan, the country will hold auctions for 3,250 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) and 800 MW of wind power split between eight projects, said Turki Al Shehri, head of renewable energy project development office at the country’s energy ministry. The auctions, themselves, will have two rounds, he told the newspaper, adding that the first one will be for 250 MW of solar and will be initiated in the first quarter of 2018. The second round envisages tendering 3,000 MW of solar and the 800 MW of wind power capacity.
In a separate interview with Bloomberg, Al Shehri said that the total cost will range from USD 5 billion (EUR 4.1bn) to USD 7 billion.
Power exports under the new initiative are seen to begin by 2019.
The Kingdom last year pre-qualified companies for the installation of 400 MW of wind power generating capacity in Dumat Al Jandal, the region of Al Jouf. Just recently, it shortlisted ACWA Power and a consortium led by Marubeni Corp (TYO:8002) to develop a 300-MW solar project in Sakaka, Al Jouf, as part of Round 1 of the National Renewable Energy Program (NREP).
Through NREP, Saudi Arabia seeks to have 3,450 MW of renewable energy capacity by 2020 and a total of 9,500 MW by 2023. It has also set a goal for 44% of its energy to come from renewables by 2050.