Saudi Arabia has given contracts for two new solar projects totaling one gigawatt of capacity, as the country continues to diversify its energy mix.
The Saudi Power Procurement Company (SPPC), the kingdom’s main power buyer and manager, has signed two power purchase agreements (PPAs) worth 2.5 billion riyals ($665 million) with the winning consortiums, according to a statement released by the Ministry of Energy and carried by the Saudi Press Agency. The schemes are part of the third round of the Energy Ministry’s National Renewable Energy Program (NREP).
The SPPC’s first agreement was for the ‘Al-Rass’ 700-megawatt photovoltaic independent power plant in the Qassim region of the country, valued at 1.7 billion Riyals. The second is the 300-megawatt ‘Saad’ solar IPP project near Riyadh that is valued at 800m Riyals.
The agreement counts as an additional leap towards achieving Saudi’s Vision 2030, with the Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman stating that the award of these projects represents “another successful milestone” in delivering the National Renewable Energy Program targets and is “a testament to the commitment of the kingdom to reduce energy related emissions”.
The kingdom aims to develop more renewable energy projects with total capacity of about 15 gigawatts this year and in 2023 in efforts to reach “the optimal energy mix”. By 2030, Saudi Arabia plans on adding almost 60 gigawatts of solar power to its national grid.