Saudi Electricity Co. (SEC) is seeking bids from international developers to build two solar-power plants in Al-Jouf and Rafha in the north of the country, Reuters reported.
As much as 50MW of capacity will be developed at each site on land provided by SEC, and the developers will sell the electricity to SEC under long-term agreements. Each plant is estimated to cost between $100m and $120m to build.
In line with Riyadh’s policy on renewable energy, in April, Saudi Arabia announced its plans to generate 9.5 GW of electricity from renewable sources by 2030, which would help to conserve its oil production for export rather than use it in power generation.
According to Trade Arabia, Saudi Arabia used to build the vast majority of its infrastructure projects with state money, but that is changing as low oil prices saddle the government with a huge budget deficit, forcing it to find other sources of finance.
In an attempt to preserve state funds, a recently adopted reform plan introduces public-private partnerships models in which private companies would provide much of the financing for projects and then operate them to earn profits.