The Water and Electricity Holding Company (Badeel), a fully owned company of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), and Acwa Power, a Saudi developer and operator of power plants, signed agreements to develop a 2,060MW (2GW) solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in Al Shuaibah, Makkah province of Saudi Arabia.

This project is claimed to become the largest facility of its kind in the Middle East so far.

It is expected to achieve commercial operation by Q4 2025.

The project will be jointly owned by Badeel and ACWA Power.

The two companies will each hold a 50% equity stake via the setting up of Shuaibah Two Electrical Energy Company, a joint company for the development of the project.

The Shuaibah Two Electrical Energy Company also announced the signing of the power purchase agreement for the project with the Saudi Power Procurement Company (SPPC), which serves as the offtaker within this project.

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PIF head of MENA Investment and deputy governor Yazeed A. Al-Humied said: “This marks a key achievement toward PIF’s commitment to develop 70% 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.”

ACWA Power chairman Mohammad Abunayyan said: “Under the guidance of our visionary leadership and the Ministry of Energy, Saudi Arabia continues to accelerate its ambitious plans for diversifying its energy mix to include renewable energy. It is a great honour to partner with Badeel and SPPC in developing this milestone project which will set a benchmark for sustainable energy development in the region.”

He further added: “Solar power is a key component in unlocking positive economic, environmental and social outcomes for the betterment of communities across our great nation. We remain committed to developing local capabilities in technology, supply chain, and talent and ensure they are realised to their fullest potential.”

Badeel and ACWA Power will construct, own, and operate Al Shuaibah 2 facility. The power generated will be sold to SPPC.

Once complete, the project will power 350,000 homes.

Shuaibah 2 is ACWA Power’s sixth solar energy facility in Saudi Arabia. The ACWA Power’s portfolio in Saudi Arabia comprises 13 power, water desalination and green hydrogen plants.

Badeel and ACWA Power are also developing the Sudair Solar PV 1.5GW project.


Image: This 2,060MW solar photovoltaic project is claimed to become the largest facility of its kind in the Middle East so far. Credit: Michael Yeoman from Pixabay.