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Saudi Arabia's first wind farm starts power generation

Highlights

UAE's Masdar, EDF Renewables developed Dumat al-Jandal

Full commissioning to take place in coming months

Saudi inaugurated first solar plant in April

Saudi Arabia's first wind farm, with capacity of 400 MW, has started power generation as the world's biggest oil exporter boosts its renewable projects amid plans to diversify its energy mix and free up crude used in the electricity sector for export.

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Dumat al-Jandal, which is being developed by UAE clean energy firm Masdar and France's EDF Renewables in the northern part of the kingdom, will power up to 70,000 Saudi households when it's complete, Masdar said in a statement Aug. 7.

"We are now looking forward to successfully reaching, with our partners and contractors, the full commissioning of the project in the months to come," Olivier Marchand, project director of Dumat al-Jandal Wind Co. for Energy, said in the statement.

The Dumat Al Jandal wind farm will supply electricity under a 20-year power purchase agreement with the Saudi Power Procurement Co., a subsidiary of Saudi Electricity Co.

First solar project

In April, Saudi energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman inaugurated the Sakaka IPP PV solar project, the first renewables project in the kingdom, with an output capacity of 300 MW as power purchase agreements were signed for seven solar projects

The total capacity of all the projects, in addition to the two projects of Sakaka and Dumat al-Jandal, is 3.67 GW. They will power more than 600,000 households and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 7 million mt, according to the energy ministry. All projects tendered are backed by 25-year power purchase agreements with the Saudi Power Procurement Co. as offtaker.

ACWA Power, co-owned by the country's sovereign wealth fund, developed the Sakaka solar project. Saudi Arabia aims to have gas and renewables at 50% of energy use by 2030, by removing around 1 million boe/d of liquid gas used as fuel in electricity production and water desalination.