Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih and the Mecca region’s governor on 24 March signed an MoU for 2.6GW of solar capacity. The first 600MW of the ‘Al-Faisaliah solar project’ is one of seven solar PV projects for which the energy ministry’s Renewable Energy Project Development Office (Repdo) sought expressions of interest (EOI) in January (MEES, 1 February 2019).

A further 2GW is to be funded by a consortium led by Saudi Arabia’s PIF sovereign wealth fund, part of ambitious plans for over 35 solar parks to be built across the kingdom by 2030, with a combined capacity of 60GW (MEES, 22 February 2019). The program envisages Repdo overseeing 30% of the capacity investment for the solar parks through competitive tendering, beginning with 3.38GW to be offered this year. PIF is expected to line up the rest of the investment and is also seeking an international partner to manufacture solar panels in-kingdom for the parks. (CONTINUED - 149 WORDS)