Bids open for first utility-scale wind farm in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia has received four bids for the first utility-scale wind farm to be built in the kingdom.
The $500m Dumat Al Jandal wind farm, located in the northern Al Jouf region, will generate enough power to supply up to 70,000 Saudi households and forms part of the country’s wider industrial diversification strategy.
The Renewable Energy Project Development Office (REPDO) at the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources (MEIM) in Saudi Arabia hosted the bid opening ceremony.
The Dumat Al Jandal project is the second tender issued by MEIM as part of the National Renewable Energy Programme (NREP) under the auspices of the King Salman Renewable Energy Initiative.
“The Kingdom’s first utility-scale wind project opens a new chapter in our journey towards a diversified energy mix. The development of a wind energy industry in Saudi Arabia is an important component of our wider industrial diversification strategy,” said His Excellency Khalid Al Falih, Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources.
Four bids were submitted by pre-qualified consortiums ACWA Power, EDF Energies Nouvelles, Enel Green Power S.p.A. and International Power SA, Dubai branch (ENGIE).
REPDO will now evaluate the proposals, with the project set to be awarded on December 18, backed by a 20-year power purchase agreement with the Saudi Power Procurement Company (SPPC). The bid opening was live-streamed through a webinar that saw over 350 participants.
Dumat Al Jandal was chosen for the project site following studies that showed a strong mixture of Class II and Class III wind capabilities on the site. Average annual generation from the wind plant is expected to be around 1.4 TWh.
The initiative forms part of Saudi’s Vision 2030 and National Transition Programme to shift the country away from reliance on oil.
As part of this transition the goal is for renewable energy to provide four percent of the Kingdom’s total energy production by 2020 and 10 percent by 2023 – roughly 9.5 GW. Total investment in the projects is expected to reach $16bn.