Middle East, Renewables, Solar

ACWA connects Saudi’s first utility scale renewables plant to the grid

ACWA Power has announced the successful connection of the Sakaka Solar PV Plant – the first renewable energy project in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – to the national grid.

The project has commenced initial production under a pilot phase according to schedule, with full commercial operation to be achieved before the end of the year 2019.

The solar project has established a 100 per cent local employment rate within the first year of operation, with 90 per cent of the workforce comprised by the youth of Al Jouf region.

Additionally, Sakaka PV IPP registered over 30 per cent of contractual local content during the construction and development phases. The project has also recorded more than 3 million safe working hours without any injuries during the development and construction.

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The SAR 1.2 billion ($300m) Sakaka plant is the first utility scale renewable energy project in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under the King Salman Renewable Energy Initiative. Awarded to an ACWA Power led consortium at a world record tariff of 8.781 halalas/kWh, the 300 MW project will supply power to 45,000 of Al Jouf households through clean energy to offset over 500 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.

According to ACWA Power chairman, Mohammad Abunayyan: “The successful energizing of Sakaka PV IPP is a remarkable testament of the work progress that has been ongoing at the project. We are confident to deliver the project on schedule and commercial operation of the plant before the end of this year at the highest levels of quality, safety, and security… [The Project] accelerated the pace of renewable energy utilization and bolstered the fulfilment of energy demand in KSA.

“In alignment with the goals of Vision 2030, Sakaka PV IPP has successfully contributed to the economic diversification, development of human capital and the elevation of national competencies to ensure a better future for upcoming generations,” stated Abunayyan.

Mohamed Abunayyan expressed his gratitude towards the Saudi Electricity Company (Principal Buyer) and Al Gihaz Holding (project partner) emphasising on the optimum private-public model the Sakaka model has projected, which will serve as an example for upcoming renewable energy projects, as well as contribute to the fulfilment of the Saudi Vision 2030 goals.