HSE & Sustainability

Saudi Arabia Inaugurates Solar Power Plant, Announces Plans for More

The Sakaka solar plant, the country’s first large-scale renewable-energy project, is planned as the first of eight such projects.

The Sakaka solar-power plant in Saudi Arabia.
Credit: ACWA Power.

Saudi power-generation company ACWA Power announced the official inauguration of the 300-MW Sakaka plant, Saudi Arabia’s first utility-scale renewable energy project. Representatives of the kingdom said they hope the plant will prove to be a pivotal moment in the country’s energy transition.

In addition to the Sakaka plant, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced that the country has signed agreements for seven more solar power plants, which are planned to be built throughout the kingdom. The projects are part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, which aims to move the country away from oil-based energy and toward renewables.

“During the past weeks, the Saudi Green Initiative and the Middle East Green Initiative have been announced, which showed that we, as a leading global oil producer, are fully aware of our share of the responsibility in advancing the fight against climate change,” bin Salman said.

The Sakaka project was awarded to a consortium led by ACWA Power with a world-record tariff at the time, 8.781 halalas/kWh in 2018.

“I am delighted to partake in the phenomenal achievement of inaugurating the first renewable energy plant in the kingdom, which affirms ACWA Power’s role as a leading Saudi national company that has been at the forefront of the energy transition,” said Mohammad Abunayyan, ACWA Power’s chairman.

The solar plants, combined with wind-power projects in Dumat Al-Jandal, are expected to produce more than 3,600 megawatts, enough to power more than 600,000 homes.

The seven new solar projects are planned to be built in Madinah, Sudair, Qurayyat, Shuaiba, Jeddah, Rabigh, and Rafha.