LONDON: Saudi Arabia has kicked off the bidding process for four major solar projects capable of generating 1,200MW as the Kingdom seeks to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels. The Renewable Energy Project Development Office of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Energy said it had issued the requests for qualification (RFQ) for the third round of the Kingdom’s National Renewable Energy Program (NREP).
The first batch of projects will target smaller firms and will include the Layla 80 MW solar PV and the Wadi Al Dawaser 120 MW solar PV projects. The second batch will include the larger Saad 300 MW solar PV and Ar Rass 700 MW solar PV projects.
Renewable Energy Projects Development Office head Faisal Alyemni said the work will carry a minimum requirement of 17 percent local content as calculated by the Local Content and Government Procurement Authority. Launched in 2017, REPDO tendered the first round of renewable energy projects which included Sakaka 300 MW solar PV project, now connected to the national electricity grid, and Dumat Al Jandal 400 MW wind project, which is currently under construction.
The second round launched last July comprised of six solar PV projects amounting to 1,470 MW. Interested bidders have until Jan.20 and Feb. 3 to submit proposals for categories B and A respectively. Developing a thriving renewable energy industry is a central plank of the Saudi Vision 2030 economic and social blueprint with an initial target of generating 9.5 gigawatts of renewable energy. The plan also envisages the use of public private partnerships and the gradual liberalization of the fuels market.