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Masdar is already partaking in Saudi Arabia's ambitious renewable energy projects. The new office in Riyadh will see the Abu Dhabi company bid for one of the most prestigious contracts, Round 4 of the Kingdom's wind and solar projects. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Abu Dhabi’s Masdar will be bidding in Saudi Arabia’s upcoming Round 4 tender for wind and solar projects with a combined capacity of 3.3GW. As a prelude, Masdar has a new office in Riyadh.

“This occasion reflects the close ties that unite our two countries, as well as the strength of the strategic relations between the UAE and Saudi Arabia,” said Sheikh Nahyan bin Saif Al Nahyan, UAE Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. “These ties are based on a solid foundation supported by the leadership of both nations and work to achieve shared developmental goals for a more prosperous future and increased Emirati-Saudi integration in various fields.

“We are committed as countries and peoples to cooperating in this regard, not only for the benefit of our countries but also for the region and world at large. The UAE and Saudi Arabia remain keen to strengthen strategic cooperation and leverage joint resources and capabilities.”

The Round 4 tender is from the Saudi Power Procurement Co. (SPPC).

The SPPC’s Round 4 tender

It will be for three wind power plants with a combined capacity of 1.8 GW, and two solar parks totaling 1.5 GW, as part of the country’s National Renewable Energy Program. Saudi Arabia is planning to generate 50 per cent of its electricity from clean sources by the end of this decade, targeting 58.7 GW coming from renewable sources.

The Kingdom has also pledged to cut its carbon emissions to net zero by 2060, with plans to invest more than $180 billion to reach that goal.

Masdar is already part of Saudi Arabia’s clean energy objectives, with the 400MW Dumat Al Jandal Wind Farm – the Kingdom’s first and the largest in the Middle East – having begun electricity production last year. Developed by a consortium of Masdar and EDF Renewables with Nesma Company, once fully operational Dumat Al Jandal will generate enough clean energy to power 70,000 Saudi homes while displacing 988,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

25-year power-purchase deal

Masdar is also developing the 300MW South Jeddah Noor Solar Photovoltaic Plant, through a consortium involving EDF Renewables and Nesma Company. The consortium signed a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with SPPC last year to design, finance, build and operate the plant, which will be located in Third Jeddah Industrial City, 50 kilometres southeast of Jeddah.

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar, said, “Masdar is actively committed to supporting Saudi Arabia’s efforts to reach net zero, and the Kingdom represents a key strategic market where we have established a proven track record in developing clean energy projects.”

A chance for 'Emerge'

Under its Vision 2030 objectives, Saudi Arabia is also looking to explore developing the potential of the commercial and industrial (C&I) sector for solar power generation. “Masdar sees considerable potential to target this segment through Emerge, the joint venture it established with EDF to collaborate on opportunities in distributed solar generation, energy efficiency and street lighting in the UAE and Saudi Arabia,” said the company in a statement. “Emerge is actively developing multiple off-grid and on-grid projects, which will be streamlined once approved by the Saudi Water and Electricity Regulatory Authority.”