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Green Globe: Saudi Arabia's 1st wind farm secures financing

SNL ImageOil-rich Saudi Arabia is looking at increasing the share of renewable energy in its energy mix.
Source: Associated Press

The developers of Saudi Arabia's first wind farm have secured financing to begin construction.

The Saudi government awarded the $500 million Dumat Al Jandal wind farm to a consortium consisting of EDF Renewables Inc. and United Arab Emirates-based renewable energy company Masdar, following a call for tenders. The consortium submitted a bid of $21.30/MWh.

Featuring Vestas wind turbines, the Dumat Al Jandal wind project is expected to be the largest in the region upon its expected completion in the first quarter of 2022.

"The over-subscribed financing of the Dumat Al Jandal project further illustrates the confidence of local and international lenders, and the investment community, in the economy of the Kingdom and its potential as a hub for highly cost-effective renewable energy development," Masdar CEO Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi said in a July 22 statement.

Oil-rich Saudi Arabia is leading the Middle East's rush to renewables. The Dumat Al Jandal wind farm represents the first round of the kingdom's National Renewable Energy Program, which aims to increase the share of renewables in the country's total energy mix. The kingdom targets total renewable generation capacity of 3.45 GW by 2020 and 9.5 GW by 2023.

In India, bids for Solar Energy Corp. of India's tender for grid-connected solar photovoltaic power projects fell short of the 2,000 MW capacity available.

Five government entities submitted bids totaling 1,068 MW, according to a July 25 Mercom India report. As the tender was undersubscribed, SECI will only award 80% of the capacity bid, or a maximum of 854 MW.

Mercom India said recent SECI tenders have failed to garner enough interest from developers. Its 1,200-MW tender for solar-wind hybrid power projects was undersubscribed by 330 MW, while another tender for 1,200 MW of wind power projects fell short by 50%.

India has set a revised target of deploying 100,000 MW of grid connected solar power by 2022. The government aims to reduce the cost of solar power generation through long-term policy, large-scale deployment goals, aggressive research and development, and domestic production of critical raw materials, components and products to achieve grid parity in pricing by the same year.

The first solar photovoltaic capacity auction in Portugal broke a world record with a €14.76/MWh bid, pv magazine reported July 31.

The Portuguese government auctioned 1.4 GW of solar capacity. The sale was oversubscribed and bids averaged €20/MWh.

The 13 winners included Spain's Iberdrola SA and France's Akuo Energy, according to S&P Global Platts. These winning bidders must bring the capacity online within three years.

Portugal aims to meet the country's electricity demand with clean energy by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. To achieve these goals, the government plans to increase electrification and solar energy production, pv magazine reported December 2018.

In March, Portugal produced 4,812 GWh of renewable electricity, exceeding the 4,647 GWh consumption on the country's mainland, according to the Portuguese Renewable Energy Association.

The government plans to hold another auction, for 700 MW of solar capacity, in January 2020.

Elsewhere

* ARCO 3 SpA and Natixis secured $69.1 million in financing for a solar portfolio of up to 70 MW in Chile.

* China has already connected 870 MW of subsidized photovoltaic projects to the grid in 2019, pv magazine reported. The country's first public auction for subsidized solar PV allocated 22.79 GW of generation projects.

* Ecuador will seek construction bids on a 200-MW solar project and a 110-MW wind facility, according to pv-tech.

* The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and its partners are providing an up to $35 million financial package to support a solar project in Jordan.

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