Saudi to allow foreign companies to install solar plants for power subscribers

BE2C2 Report — Saudi Arabia will start receiving applications on Sept 24 from foreign companies to install small scale solar photovoltaic power generation units for the Kingdom’s power subscribers.

The initiative dovetails Saudi Vision 2030 which supports and encourages alternate energy sources for the kingdom’s future energy mix thereby relying less on oil and gas, and giving consumers the opportunity to generate power and export the surplus energy to the national grid.

This has kicked-started a new economic subsector with private and semi-government outfits seeking to produce green energy themselves or with foreign companies as partners. International companies are also vying to enter the new emerging market as independent power producers (IPPs).

The Saudi Electricity and Co-Generation Regulatory Authority said it will allow international companies to register for the project’s solar generation auction.

Abdullah Al-Shehry, governor of the Electricity and Co-Generation Regulatory Authority, told a local Arabic daily that “using solar energy will be optional” for power subscribers and clarified that the authority has adopted regulations for the uses of solar energy titled “Small-scale Solar Energy Systems.”

Al-Shehry stressed that this opportunity to install solar plants was available to both local and international companies, provided that they obtained a qualification certificate from the Saudi Electricity Co (SEC).

Solar energy project would start being implemented by the middle of next year, allowing consumers to export the redundant energy to the national grid at a price to be set by the network each year, or to be deducted from their electricity bills, Al-Shehry noted.

A team of experts is developing the regulations and necessary technical designs parameters to launch the “Small-scale Solar Energy Systems” initiative.

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