ACWA Power has won the rights to develop Saudi Arabia's first utility scale solar power plant after pledging to build the project at a new world record tariff.
Located on a 6 sq km site in Al Jouf, the $302mn Skaka IPP is expected to generate 300 MW once operational. The project marks the start of a government renewable energy procurement programme aiming to eventually produce 9.5 GW.
Mohammad Abdullah Abunayyan, chairman of ACWA Power, said: "We are humbled to be entrusted with the first utility scale renewable energy plant to be developed in the Kingdom, which will be the foundation of the visionary ambitious national programme that seeks to maximise the utilisation of renewable energy sources, as defined by the National Transition Plan 2020 and the objectives of the Saudi Vision 2030.”
The Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources REPDO selected the winning bid from submissions made by consortiums of eight local and international bidders.
ACWA Power was awarded the 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) after bidding a new world record tariff of US cents 2.3417/kWh (8.781 halalas/kWh), eclipsing previous records set in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Saudi Arabia is the latest Middle East country to signal a shift towards solar power following a number of successes in UAE, Jordan and Egypt.