Saudi Aramco’s Power Systems Renewables Department has upgraded one of the world’s largest solar car parks at its headquarters in Dhahran, according to Aramco’s weekly Arabian Sun in-house newspaper. The company has replaced almost 127,000 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels at the car park, said to cover an area equivalent to 12 football fields and provide shade for 4,500 vehicles, with more advanced thin film panels with a total generating capacity of 10.5MW.

While the cark park PV plant is large enough to compare with the smallest ‘utility-scale’ solar plants, it will be dwarfed by PV projects offered in Saudi Arabia’s recent solar tenders. The Ministry of Electricity’s Repdo renewables agency has overseen development of a 300MW solar PV plant at Sakaka and is tendering for a further 2.67GW in two bidding rounds, with plant capacities ranging from 20MW to 700MW (MEES, 17 January). (CONTINUED - 144 WORDS)