Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund PIF (Public Investment Fund) has announced that its utility subsidiary – Water and Electricity Holding Company (Badeel) – along with leading utility project developer Acwa Power have signed power purchase agreements (PPAs) for three major solar photovoltaic (PV) projects in the kingdom.

These PPAs have been signed with the Saudi Power Procurement Company (SPPC) for the development and operation of these three Independent Power Producer (IPP) projects.

The solar projects are part of the National Renewable Energy Programme (NREP) which is led and supervised by the Ministry of Energy, with PIF mandated to develop 70 per cent of NREP’s target capacity.

The new projects, which will be jointly owned by Badeel and Acwa Power, aim to produce a combined capacity of 4.55GWac of renewable energy, powering approximately 750,000 households.

The Ar Rass 2, Saad 2 and Al Kahfah projects have a capacity of 2,000MWac, 1,125MWac and 1,425MWac of renewable power respectively, with a combined value of SR12.2 billion ($3.25 billion).

According to PIF, the financial close for these projects is expected by the third quarter of 2023.

PIF said it is currently developing five new projects – Sudair, Shuaibah 2, Ar Rass 2, Al Kahfah, Saad 2 – at an investment of over $6 billion in co-ordination with its partners. that will boast a cumulative capacity of 8GW.

Acwa Power said its portfolio of solar projects in Saudi Arabia now stands at 11, with over 12GW of combined PV capacity, following the addition of the three new projects. This brings its total renewable capacity portfolio to 23.4GW.