Saudi Power Procurement Co. (SPPC) has issued a tender for the deployment of 3.3 GW of renewable energy capacity. The Saudi government plans to construct two solar parks with a combined capacity of 1.5 GW and two wind power facilities with a combined capacity of 1.8 GW. One of the two solar projects, with an installed power of 1.1 GW, would be constructed in Al Hanakia, Medina province, west-central Saudi Arabia, according to the government-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA). The second PV project is a 400 MW solar facility that will be constructed in the town of Tabarjal in the north.

In October 2021, the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Energy announced the names of shortlisted bidders in a tender that seeks to award 1,200 MW of solar photovoltaic capacity. This is the third such round of bidding and includes four solar projects grouped under two categories. Under Category A, ACWA Power and Alfanar company have been shortlisted for the 80 MW Layla project while TOTAL solar INTL and ACWA Power have been shortlisted for the 120 MW Wadi Al Dawasir solar project.

Meanwhile, under Category B, Jinko Power and Abu Dhabhi Future Energy Company have been shortlisted for the 300 MW Saad project and ACWA Power and Jinko Power have been shortlisted for the 700 MW Ar Rass project. The lowest LCoE was discovered for the 300 MW Saad project at $14.83 per MWh.

REGlobal’s Views: Saudi Arabia heavily depends on petroleum for meeting its energy needs. However, the country has launched the National Renewable Energy Program as part of which it aims diversify its energy mix by increasing the share of natural gas and renewable energy sources to approximately 50 per cent by 2030. In 2018, a target of 27.3 GW of renewable power capacity by 2023 and 58.7 GW by 2030 had been announced. However, it is still quite far away from meeting its targets, and thus, large auctions are important for promoting renewable energy development in the country.