Saudi first renewable energy plant kicks off

The Sakaka Solar PV Plant has commenced initial production under a pilot phase as per schedule

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. A Saudi solar plant is seen in Uyayna, north of Riyadh, Saudi April 10, 2018.

Image used for illustrative purpose. A Saudi solar plant is seen in Uyayna, north of Riyadh, Saudi April 10, 2018.

REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasserr

AL JOUF ACWA Power has announced the successful connection of the Sakaka Solar PV Plant - the first renewable energy project in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - to the national grid. The project has commenced initial production under a pilot phase according to schedule – with full commercial operation to be achieved before the end of the year 2019.

The solar project has established a 100 percent local employment rate within the first year of operation, with 90% of the workforce comprised by the youth of Al Jouf region. Additionally, Sakaka PV IPP registered over 30 percent of contractual local content during the construction and development phases. The project has also recorded more than 3 million safe working hours without any injuries during the development and construction.

Commenting on the occasion, Mohammad Abunayyan, Chairman of ACWA Power, said: “The successful energizing of Sakaka PV IPP is a remarkable testament of the work progress that has been ongoing at the project. We are confident to deliver the project on schedule and commercial operation of the plant before the end of this year at the highest levels of quality, safety, and security.”

“ACWA Power is proud to contribute to the sustainable development efforts of the Kingdom through the deployment of the Sakaka PV project, which accelerated the pace of renewable energy utilization and bolstered the fulfilment of energy demand in KSA. In alignment with the goals of Vision 2030, Sakaka PV IPP has successfully contributed to the economic diversification, development of human capital and the elevation of national competencies to ensure a better future for upcoming generations”.

Mohamed Abunayyan commended the efforts of the partners of the project, noting in particular the support of the Ministry of Energy represented by the Renewable Energy Project Development Office (REPDO), from the initial inception of the project to date. Abunayyan also expressed his gratitude towards the Saudi Electricity Company (Principal Buyer) and Al Gihaz Holding (project partner) emphasising on the optimum private-public model the Sakaka model has projected, which will serve as an example for upcoming renewable energy projects as well as contribute to the fulfillment of the Saudi Vision 2030 goals.

The SR1.2 billion Sakaka plant is the first utility scale renewable energy project in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under the King Salman Renewable Energy Initiative. Awarded to an ACWA Power led consortium at a world record tariff of 8.781 halalas/kWh, the 300MW project will supply power to 45,000 of Al Jouf households through clean energy to offset over 500 tons of carbon dioxide a year. — SG

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