Qatar Plans First Significant Solar Capacity

Qatar is late to the Middle East solar scene. Despite being under siege from its neighbors it is thinking big – as it has done with two CCGT projects that are moving forward.

Qatar Electricity and Water Company (QEWC) has been allocated land at Al Kharsaah, 80km west of Doha, for construction of a solar power plant with an initial generating capacity of 500MW. The project is scheduled to start up in mid-2020, after which the state generator intends to double capacity to 1GW.

QEWC managing director Fahd al-Muhannadi says first phase development will cost around $500mn. He says QEWC will soon announce a list of local and international firms to be invited to bid for the project which will mark a departure by Qatar from its historical focus on gas-fired power projects – hardly surprising for a country with the world’s third largest gas reserves.


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