Masdar and Nesma officials at the signing ceremony.

Abu Dhabi-based Masdar said its consortium with global renewable energy leader EDF Renewables is set to start construction work on a 300-megawatt (MW) utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) solar power plant in Jeddah following its financial close with Nesma Company.

The Renewable Energy Project Development Office (Repdo) of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Energy had awarded the consortium the project, after it had submitted the most cost-competitive bid of SR60.9042 ($16.24) per megawatt hour.  It also signed a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Saudi Power Procurement Company (SPPC) this January for the project.

Under the terms of the PPA, the consortium will design, finance, build and operate the plant, which will be located in Third Jeddah Industrial City. The plant will begin operation in 2022.

CEO Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi said, through this project, Masdar had affirmed its commitment to Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 objectives and its climate goals.

“Saudi Arabia’s National Renewable Energy Programme is fast developing into a global renewable energy player, and Masdar will continue to work closely with the Saudi government and our partners here to help the kingdom achieve its clean energy transition, while reducing environmental impacts in line with the Saudi Green Initiative,” stated Al Ramahi.

EDF Group Senior Executive VP (Renewable Energies) Bruno Bensasson said: “After the 400 MW Dumat al Jandal wind power farm currently under construction in the north of the kingdom, this solar project highlights our strong commitment to contribute to Saudi Arabia’s goal to produce 50 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

“It clearly demonstrates our ability to jointly provide highly competitive bids.These large-scale renewables installations are perfectly in line with the EDF Group’s CAP 2030 strategy, which aims at doubling its renewable energy net capacity in operation worldwide, between 2015 and 2030, from 28 to 60 GW net.”

Nesma President Faisal Al Turki said: “Masdar, EDF Renewables and Nesma will continue to innovate and optimise solar power projects; the Jeddah project is an excellent example of how the consortium is leveraging international, regional and local expertise to great effect. The Jeddah solar plant will utilise the latest technology in the PV market, combining bifacial PV modules with mounting structures that utilise single-axis tracking technology to maximise energy generation by following the sun’s position throughout the day. State-of-the-art robots will also be used to clean the modules.”

In 2019, a consortium led by EDF Renewables in partnership with Masdar was selected to build a 400 MW utility-scale wind farm in Dumat Al Jandal – Saudi Arabia’s first wind energy project and the largest in the Middle East.

The plant will start operation and generate carbon-free electricity by late 2022 (see also Digital Edition, Page 94)