The launch on Thursday of the Sakaka plant, with a production capacity of 300 MW, in the northwest of the Al-Jouf region represents the “first steps of the kingdom to use renewable energies in the kingdom”, a declared the crown prince as quoted by the official Saudi press agency. (SPA).
The opening also saw the signing of power purchase agreements for seven other renewable energy projects in a number of regions with 12 Saudi and international companies, according to the Xinhua news agency citing the report of the SPA.
The new projects are in Al Madinah, Sudair, Qurayyat, Shuaibah, Jeddah, Rabigh and Rafha.
The total capacity of these projects, in addition to the two Sakaka power plant projects and the Doumat Al Jandal wind power project, is 3,670 MW, Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman said.
They will power more than 600,000 homes and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by more than 7 million tonnes, he added.
The minister affirmed the role of the private sector in the renewable energy sector of the kingdom which aims to reduce the use of liquid fuel in the production of electricity and to optimize the national energy mix.
The projects are an effective approach to achieving the climate change goal and finding more sustainable and less expensive energy systems, according to the SPA report.
The projects also aim to create a nationally competitive market for renewable energy, which would increase the chances of creating a new renewable energy technology industry, he added.