The governmental Saudi Arabia office for renewable energy projects has confirmed that the country will be progressing with plans for a new wind farm worth £500m. Already it has opened up a competitive tendering process to four bidders that expressed a desire to build the country's first ever wind power development, which will have 400MW of installed capacity.
The scheme will be based at Dumat Al Jandal in the Al Jouf northern region. It will be awarded within a 20-year PPI agreement with the successful bidder being notified on December 18. The power purchase agreement will be delivered in conjunction with the Saudi Power Procurement Company, according to a statement released last week.
The project will be the first utility-scale of its kind in the country, and the Saudi minister of energy said that it would open up a fresh chapter in Saudi Arabia's progression towards becoming a fully diversified-energy country with a growing emphasis on renewables. This will be a key part of the kingdom's broader strategy for industrial development.
When the project is up and running, it will produce sufficient green energy to provide power to 70,000 homes in Saudi Arabia and be connected to the country's electricity grid.
The four pre-qualifying bidders are Acwa Power (Saudi Arabia), Enel Gren Power (Italy) and EDF Energies Nouvelles and Engie (France). The bids ranged from 7.99 to 12.71 halalas per Kwh. However, the bidding process will take a broader array of factors into account beyond price, including compliance.
Saudi Arabia is the biggest exporter of oil in the world and has typically always burnt oil for its power generation. However, it plans to add 9.5GW of renewable energy by 2023 and is planning to sell more crude to its export markets.