Mecca leads Saudi Arabia to a greener future

Sunday, September 23, 2012 0 comments

Mecca, Islam’s most holy city, which hosts millions of pilgrims a year, is planning to become the first city in Saudi to construct and operate a utility-scale solar project.

The Saudi central government is planning to invest nearly $109 billion for setting up a solar industry by baby stepping it from the grassroot level. Bloomberg New Energy Finance said that the central government has set a target to tap 33% of Saudi Arabia’s power from the sun by 2032 compared to almost nothing currently.

BNEF, said the money that Saudi will invest is almost equal to $136 billion invested worldwide in solar energy last year.

Meccas Solar Odyssey:

The holy city of Mecca plans to select a bidder from a group of at least 20 companies. Mayor Osama al-Bar said that the Mecca Solar project will have a 100MW nameplate capacity. The project most probably will be a CSP project.

Saudi Binladin Group and ACWA Power International are just few of the major bidders who are biidding for the project. The mayor expects the project should start in June next year with completion within five years.

During the Build-Own-Transfer contract duration, the solar project developers will sell the green electricity to Saudi Electricity Co. (SECO), and after the contract ends, the city will own the power plants and it will sell electricity just like any other IPP.

The Saudi, the worlds largest Oil and gas exporter has set a  target of installing  41,000MW of solar capacity within the next 20 years.

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