A new operating company has been set up for the 2,060MW solar project, which should be operational late 2025. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: The Water and Electricity Holding Company (Badeel) in Saudi Arabia is to build a 2,060MW solar photovoltaic plant in Al Shuaibah, Mecca province and which would make it the ‘largest facility of its kind in the Middle East’. The project is achieve commercial operations by Q4-2025.

Badeel, wholly-owned by Public Investment Fund, is taking on this project in alliance with ACWA Power, the Saudi developer and operator of power generation, water desalination and green hydrogen plants. The share split will be equal in a new operating company, the ‘Shuaibah Two Electrical Energy Co.’.

The new entity has signed a power purchase agreement for the project with Saudi Power Procurement Company (SPPC). This is a ‘concrete representation of the energy transition in play — a giga-scale development in sustainable energy that will play a key role in translating Saudi Vision 2030 goals’.

Badeel and ACWA Power will build, own, and operate Al Shuaibah 2 facility and the electricity produced will be sold to SPPC. When complete, it will power 350,000 homes.

Yazeed A. Al-Humied, Deputy Governor and Head of MENA Investments at PIF, said, “This marks a key achievement toward PIF’s commitment to develop 70 per cent of Saudi Arabia’s renewable energy by 2030. Utilities and Renewables is one of PIF’s priority sectors as part of its domestic strategy, which focuses on unlocking the capabilities of promising sectors to enhance Saudi Arabia’s efforts in diversifying revenue sources/”

Shuaibah 2 is ACWA Power’s sixth solar energy facility in Saudi Arabia. In addition, the ACWA Power’s Saudi portfolio comprises 13 power, water desalination and green hydrogen plants. Badeel and ACWA Power are also developing the Sudair Solar PV 1500 MW project, which was the first cornerstone renewable energy project in PIF’s program.