Bidding opens for Saudi Arabia’s first solar-powered plant

By Sophie Chapman
The UAE’s Abu Dhabi Future Energy and EDF Energies Nouvelles have submitted the lowest bids for the utility-scale Sakaka plant.

The UAE’s Abu Dhabi Future Energy and EDF Energies Nouvelles have submitted the lowest bids for the utility-scale Sakaka plant.

Bids for the 300MW solar photovoltaic (PV) project began on 3 October, and will continue for three months.

Abu Dhabi Future Energy (Masdar) and the a wholly-owned unit of France-based EDF presented a joint bid for a levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) of 6.69 halalas/per kilowatt-hour (US$0.0178/kWh).

Acwa Power, a Saudi-based company, offered the second lowest bid of 8.78 halalas/kWh.

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The bid measure covers the cost of generating a MW-hour of electricity; the upfront capital and development cost; the cost of equity and debt finance; and operating and maintenance fees.

“All of the bids opened today will now undergo stringent technical, financial and legal evaluation,” the Head of the Energy Ministry's Renewable Energy Project Development Office, Turki al-Shehri, told Reuters in a statement.

He then stated that the plant would be granted to the lowest cost measure which meets all compliance criteria.

“The LCOE quoted by the winning bidder will be the most accurate measure of the potential related to this project. The lowest bidder today is not guaranteed to be awarded the project,” added Shehri.

The three-month evaluation is predicted to have come to a conclusion by 27 January 2018.

After this conclusion, the winning bidders will build, own, and run the plant alongside the government.

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