Is this the future of Saudi Arabia’s power infrastructure?

Jon Lawson

ACWA Power has announced the successful connection of the Sakaka Solar PV Plant - the first renewable energy project in 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 per cent local employment rate within the first year of operation, with 90 per cent of the workforce comprised by the youth of Al Jouf region. Additionally, Sakaka PV IPP registered over 30 per cent 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.

Mohammad Abunayyan, ACWA Power Chairman commented, “The successful energising 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. 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 utilisation 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.”

The SAR 1.2 billion 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 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.