Saudi Arabia kick-starts $50bn renewable energy plan

Saudi government has invited investors to pre-qualify for renewable projects

Saudi Arabia has invited investors to submit requests to qualify for the first round of its $30-$50 billion National Renewable Energy Programme by March 20, it said on Monday.

Saudi Arabia has invited investors to submit requests to qualify for the first round of its $30-$50 billion National Renewable Energy Programme by March 20, it said on Monday.

Saudi Arabia has invited investors to submit requests to qualify for the first round of its $30-$50 billion National Renewable Energy Programme by March 20, it said on Monday.

Saudi Arabia is targeting 9.5 GW of renewable energy by 2023 in line with Vision 2030, an economic reform plan launched last year to diversify the economy beyond oil. The renewable programme involves investment of between $30 billion and $50 billion by 2023.

For the first round, the kingdom will develop a 300 megawatt solar PV plant in Sakaka, the Al Jouf Province in the north.

It will also build a 400 MW wind project in Midyan in the northwest.

The projects will be backed by 25-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) for solar PV and 20-year PPAs for wind, the energy ministry said in a statement.

It will announce pre-qualified bidders by April 10.

The energy ministry has said an award is expected in September.

The ministry added the process "is open to any company or consortium of companies with the technical and financial capabilities to execute projects of this scale".

"It is our goal to make the National Renewable Energy Program among the most attractive, competitive and well executed government renewable energy investment programmes in the world, and we have all the necessary infrastructure in place to ensure that is the case," Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said in a statement.

Earlier this month, the energy ministry said it created The Renewable Energy Project Development Office (REPDO), a unit of the ministry to oversee the deployment of clean energy.

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