Middle East breaks more solar records

Middle East breaks more solar records

15 Apr 2021

Saudi Arabia’s 600MW Fasiliyah photovoltaic (PV) solar independent power producer (IPP) project, part of the kingdom’s National Renewable Energy Programme (NREP), is the latest GCC solar project to set a world record tariff for solar power


Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power has signed the power purchase agreement (PPA) for the world’s lowest solar tariff of $cents1.04 a kilowatt hour ($c/kWh).

The 1.04$c/kWh tariff was achieved for the 600MW Fasiliyah PV independent power producer (IPP) project, the largest project under the second round of the kingdom’s National Renewable Energy Programme (NREP).

The PPA was signed with the offtaker, the Saudi Power Procurement Company (SPPC) on 8 April, according to sources close to the project.

Saudi Arabia’s Renewable Energy Project Development Office (Repdo), which the renewable energy arm of the Ministry of Energy, invited consortiums led by Acwa Power and the UAE’s Masdar to submit best and final offers (BAFO) for the Fasiliyah IPP in April 2020 after both consortiums had submitted very similar tariffs during the competitive tendering process.

The 0.104$c/kWh tariff is significantly lower than the $c.1.35 tariff awarded for the 2GW Al-Dhafra solar project in Abu Dhabi in 2020, which at the time was a world record tariff.

Also on 8 April, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund Public Investment Fund (PIF) announced that it had signed the PPA with an Acwa Power consortium for the 1.5GW Sudair PV IPP – a project that had been directly negotiated with the developer through PIF’s solar programme. PIF owns a 50 per cent stake in Acwa Power.

The tariff of $c1.239/kWh is the second lowest PV solar tariff recorded, only beaten by the Fasiliyah IPP.

The 1.5GW Sudair PV project will be by far the largest PV solar project awarded in Saudi Arabia to date, and also among the largest single-site PV projects in the world.

The project will provide enough power for 185,000 homes and will offset 2.9 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year.

The projects are part of Saudi Arabia’s ambitious target to develop 58.7GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030. Repdo will oversee the development of 30 per cent of this through a competitive tendering programme, with the PIF to procure the rest through directly negotiated contracts with investors.


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