RIYADH: Saudi Arabia plans to build a 2,600 Megawatt solar scheme in the holy city of Makkah as the world's largest oil exporter increases momentum for renewable energy.
A contract for 600MW will be tendered this year, with the project set to be developed in two phases, the Saudi energy ministry announced in a tweet, report agencies.The initial phase will be developed after a bidding process through the Saudi energy ministry with the remainder set to be developed by the Public Investment Fund, the country's sovereign wealth fund, and its partners.
A preliminary agreement was signed between the energy ministry as well as the emir of the Makkah province to develop the Al Faisaliah solar project.
Saudi Arabia, which is moving away from burning crude for power generation, has plans to increase power generation from renewables. PIF will develop up to 70 per cent of the kingdom's renewable energy capacity, with plans underway to deploy up to 60GW from clean sources over the next decade, the country's energy minister Khalid Al Falih said in January.
Saudi Arabia's Renewable Energy Project Development Office (Repdo) has been tasked with tendering the remaining 30 per cent of capacity.