Saudi awards its first wind power project under renewables strategy

A consortium led by France’s EDF Energies Nouvelles and Abu Dhabi’s Masdar won the bid

Saudi Arabia’s energy ministry has awarded the $500m Dumat Al Jandal wind project to a consortium led by France’s EDF Energies Nouvelles and Abu Dhabi’s Masdar, it announced on Thursday.

The 400MW project will be Saudi Arabia’s first utility-scale wind farm.

When completed, the wind farm will generate power for up to 70,000 Saudi households and is expected to create almost 1,000 jobs during construction and operation, a statement said.

The Renewable Energy Project Development Office (REPDO) of the energy ministry received four bids for the project from companies across five countries.

The project was awarded based on the levelised cost of energy of $2.13 cents/kWh, registering a new record-low price for a project of this type in Europe, Middle East and Africa, the statement added.

Dumat Al Jandal was chosen for the kingdom’s first utility-scale wind power project after predevelopment studies showed a mixture of Class II and Class III wind capabilities on the site.

The average annual generation from the wind plant is expected to be around 1.4 TWh, the statement said.

This is the second tender to be issued by the ministry as part of the National Renewable Energy Programme (NREP), a strategic initiative under Vision 2030 and the King Salman Renewable Energy Initiative.

In 2017, the kingdom embarked on a new renewable energy development strategy with plans to produce 10 per cent of its power from renewable sources by 2023.

With a target of 9.5 gigawatt (GW) of renewable energy by 2023, the world’s top oil exporter said it will develop 30 solar and wind projects across the country.

The initiative involves investment estimated between $30bn and $50bn, officials said at the time.

Read more: Saudi begins renewable drive with bidding for 300MW solar power project