Saudi Arabia received offers to supply solar electricity for the cheapest prices ever recorded, marking the start of a $50 billion program to diversify the oil producer’s domestic energy supplies away from fossil fuels. The energy ministry said Abu Dhabi’s Masdar and France’s EDF bid to supply power from a 300 MW photovoltaic plant for as little as 1.79 cents/kWh, according to a webcast of the bid-opening ceremony on 03.10.2017 in Riyadh. If awarded, that would beat the previous record for a solar project in Abu Dhabi for 2.42 cents/kWh.
The plant will be the first awarded under the renewables program, which targets 9,500 MW of electricity generation capacity using solar and wind by 2030. The project is set to start producing power by June 2019, according to the bid. Masdar and EDF are already partners in an 800-MW project in Dubai. [rew]