By Daniel Shane
Saudi holy city hopes to shave US$587m off electricity bill and service growing energy demand
Authorities in the Saudi Arabian city of Makkah say they
will build an SAR2.4bn (US$640m) solar energy project capable of producing
around 100MW of electricity, it was reported.
According to Saudi daily Al-Eqtisadiah, the development is
intended to meet growing energy requirements in the municipality and shave about
SAR2.2bn off the holy city’s electricity bill.
“The project will be established on an area of about 2m sqm.
About 20 international consortiums consisting of about 100 companies will
compete for the execution of the project,” Osama bin Fadl Al-Bar, Mayor of
Makkah, told the newspaper.
Al-Bar added that the location of the development would be
chosen by the successful contractor, which would purchase the piece of land and
then return it to Makkah authorities at the contract’s close.
Bids to build the project will open during the first week of
next year, Al-Bar added.
Depending on its success, he said, other municipalities in the Gulf’s
most populous nation could develop their own solar energy strategy, which could
save the kingdom up to 8m barrels of oil per day by 2030.
A report published by Citigroup last month said that Saudi
Arabia, the world’s largest exporter of crude oil, could become a net importer
of oil by 2030 if domestic energy consumption continues to grow at its current
Oil demand for use in domestic electricity consumption is
currently rising by about 8 percent annually, with around 3m barrels per day
-or a quarter of total output - currently serving national energy requirements.
All of Saudi Arabia’s natural gas, the kingdom's other natural resource, is currently
allocated for domestic consumption.
Does anyone know what type of solar power technology will they be using for this project?
They shall use either CPV (Concetrated Photo-Voltaic) or CSP (Concetrated Solar Power).