Saudi Arabia looks to have notched up a new record-low price for large-scale solar power, with one of seven projects recently signed up to power purchase agreements contracted to sell electricity for just over $US10 per megawatt-hour ($A13/MWh).
According to local press, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman announced the new record on Thursday last week at the inauguration of the 300MW Sakaka solar power plant in Al-Jouf, the kingdom’s first renewables project.
At the plant’s launch, Prince Abdulaziz announced that PPAs for seven other renewable projects across a range of regions had also been signed between the Saudi Power Procurement Company and five investment consortiums made up of 12 unnamed Saudi and international companies.
The new projects, located in Al Madinah, Sudair, Qurayyat, Shuaibah, Jeddah, Rabigh, and Rafha, will take the kingdom’s total renewable generation capacity to 3,670MW, alongside Sakaka and the 400MW Doumat Al Jandal wind project.
But one, in particular, the 600MW Shuaibah solar project to be developed by a consortium of ACWA Power, Gulf Investment and Al Babtain Contracting, had achieved a record low cost of electricity at $US10.40 per MWh, Prince Abdulaziz said.
This beats the previous global record low claimed by Portugal in August of last year, when its second solar PV tender included one lot awarded at €11.14/MWh, or around $A18.17/MWh, and 25 per cent below its previous record.