Saudi Arabia prepares to announce world record solar tariff project

28 Jun 2020
Saudi Arabia prepares to announce world record solar tariff project

Saudi Arabia received best and final proposals for the 600MW Fasiliyah PV IPP under the second round of its National Renewable Energy Programme (NREP) in April.

Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman has revealed that Saudi Arabia will be soon announcing a solar project with a world-record low tariff.

Prince Abdulaziz, speaking during a virtual conference organised by the kingdom’s Future Investment Initiative Institute (FII-I), said that the energy ministry would “… very soon be announcing a project on solar that will take the lead in terms of probably the lowest, if not the lowest, cost per kilowatt of electricity.”

The Energy minister was most likely referring to the 600MW Fasiliyah photovoltaic (PV) solar independent power producer (IPP) project, the largest project planned under the second round of the kingdom’s ambitious National Renewable Energy Programme (NREP).

Saudi Arabia’s Renewable Energy Project Development Office (Repdo), an arm of the Energy Ministry, received the best and final offers (BAFO) from two shortlisted bidders for the Fasiliyah PV IPP in April.

The two consortiums which submitted BAFO for the Fasiliyah PV independent power producer (IPP) project by 19 April were:

  • Acwa Power (local), GIC (Kuwait), Al-Babtain
  • Masdar (UAE), EDF (France), Nesma Holding (local)

Energy & Utilities reported earlier in April that Repdo had opened the commercial prices and selected preferred bidders for five of the six PV solar projects under the second round of the NREP..

However, for the 600MW Fasiliyah PV IPP, the levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) tariffs from the two lowest bidders were so close that the client decided to invite the two groups to submit a BAFO.

The two consortiums invited to submit the BAFO for the Fasiliyah scheme were each shortlisted as first ranked bidder for one of the remaining three Category B projects under the second round.

For the 300MW Jeddah PV independent power project (IPP), the Masdar/EDF/Nesma consortium was ranked first shortlisted bidder with a levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) tariff of SRhalalas6.09 per kilowatt hour (SRh/kWh), $cents1.62/kWh in US dollars.

The Acwa Power consortium was selected as first ranked bidder for the 200MW Qurrayat IPP with a submitted LCOE of SR6.688/kWh.

The successful bidders will sign a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with the offtaker Saudi Procurement Company (SPPC).

The Fasiliyah IPP is expected to beat the current record for a utility-scale PV IPP set in Abu Dhabi in April this year

Energy & Utilities reported that a consortium led by France’s EDF and China’s Jinko Power submitted the lowest tariff for the planned 2GW Al-Dhafra photovoltaic (PV) solar project. The group’s levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) tariff of $cents1.35/kWh broke the previous record of $cents1.6953/kWh submitted by Acwa Power in neighbouring emirate Dubai in late 2019 for the fifth phase of the Mohamed bin Rashid (MBR) solar park.

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