Saudi Power Procurement Company (SPPC) has announced that a consortium of global clean energy leaders - Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), French utility major EDF Renewables and Saudi infrastructure specialist Nesma Company - has won the bid to develop a 1,100 MW solar power plant at Madinah in Saudi Arabia.
The Al Henakiyah Solar Plant, which is being set up at a total investment of $1 billion, is expected to reach financial close early next year and connect to the grid in 2025. 
Once operational, the Al Henakiyah Solar Plant is expected to power more than 190,000 homes per year in the Saudi city and displace more than 1.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. 
It will help achieve the target of increasing the share of the renewables in the country’s energy mix to around 50% by 2030. 
Set to be one of the world’s largest single-site solar plants, the project will be developed, built, owned and operated by the consortium as part of a 25-year agreement with the off-taker SPPC.
Further to this, SPCC has signed a power purchase agreement with the winning consortium, which clinched the deal after submitting the most cost-competitive bid of $16.84 per megawatt hour.
With plans to boost the local economy, at least 19 percent of the equipment, materials and services will be provided by Saudi companies during the construction phase, said SPCC in its statement. 
In addition, during the first 10 years of operations, Saudi nationals will make up 50 percent of the project's workforce. This proportion will rise to 75% during the project's entire operational life.
On the big win, Masdar CEO Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi said: "We are proud to have won the bid to develop the 1,100 MW Al Henakiyah Solar Plant, further strengthening our partnership with Saudi Arabia."
"The kingdom is a key strategic market for Masdar, and we are committed to supporting the Ministry of Energy and the SPPC achieve the targets set out under Vision 2030 and the Saudi Green Initiative, as the country accelerates its green transition toward net zero emissions by 2060," he added.
EDF Group Chairman and CEO Bruno Bensasson said: "The 1,100 MW- Henakiyah solar project is another significant milestone in the kingdom for EDF Renewables, and our partners Masdar and Nesma Renewable Energy, which would not have been possible without the full support provided by the SPCC and the Ministry of Energy."
"Together, we are geared to navigate the dynamic landscapes of clean energy enabling a sustainable and prosperous future for Saudi Arabia while supporting the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 to produce 50% of its electricity from renewable sources," stated Bensasson. 
"After the 400 MW Dumat Al Jandal wind power farm currently under operation and the 300MW - South Jeddah Solar Park, the journey ahead is promising, and we are wholeheartedly committed to creating lasting value, nurturing a legacy of positive change in the Kingdom and for the generations to come," he added.
Nesma Group President Faisal Alturki said: "As Nesma’s flagship renewables business, Nesma Renewable Energy (NRE) is intrinsic to our commitment to proactively support the clean energy and sustainability goals of Saudi Vision 2030."
"We are therefore extremely proud of the role NRE will play in delivering the Al Henakiyah Solar Project, a ground-breaking initiative in the Kingdom’s renewable energy strategy, and we are confident that the company has an increasingly important role to play in the future," noted Alturki.
"The Al Henakiyah Solar Project is a resounding endorsement of our position at the forefront of the renewables industry in Saudi Arabia. As an industry, we are on an ambitious journey together, and one that will ultimately establish KSA as a true global leader in renewable energy generation," stated the top official. 
"This project represents a significant milestone on our way to achieving this," he added.-TradeArabia News Service