Bidding opens for Saudi Arabia’s first solar-powered 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.
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.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.