Saudi’s PIF-owned Badeel, ACWA Power to develop MENA’s largest solar energy plant

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The Public Investment Fund (PIF)-owned Water and Electricity Holding Company (Badeel), and ACWA Power, signed on Wednesday power purchase agreements to develop a 2,060 megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in Mecca’s al-Shuaibah, the largest facility of its kind yet in the Middle East.

The project, which is expected to achieve commercial operation by the fourth quarter of 2025, will be jointly owned by Badeel and ACWA Power- a leading Saudi developer, investor, and operator of power generation, water desalination and green hydrogen plants worldwide.

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Each company will hold a 50 percent equity stake through the establishment of the Shuaibah Two Electrical Energy Company, which will be a joint company dedicated to the development of the project, according to the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Hence, Badeel and ACWA Power will build, own, and operate the Shuaibah Two Electrical Energy Company and consequently the electricity produced will be sold to the Saudi Power Procurement Company (SPPC). “When complete, it will power 350,000 homes,” SPA reported.

“This marks a key achievement toward PIF’s commitment to develop 70 percent of Saudi Arabia’s renewable energy by 2030,” Deputy Governor and Head of MENA Investments at PIF Yazeed A. Al-Humied said. “Utilities and Renewables is one of PIF’s priority sectors as part of its domestic strategy, which focuses on unlocking the capabilities of promising sectors to enhance Saudi Arabia’s efforts in diversifying revenue sources.”

“Saudi Arabia continues to accelerate its ambitious plans for diversifying its energy mix to include renewable energy. It is a great honor to partner with Badeel and SPPC in developing this milestone project which will set a benchmark for sustainable energy development in the region,” Chairman of ACWA Power Mohammad Abunayyan was quoted as saying.

The project will be ACWA Power’s sixth solar energy facility in Saudi Arabia, noting that Badeel and ACWA Power are also developing the Sudair Solar PV 1500 MW project; which was the first cornerstone renewable energy project in PIF’s program.

“Solar power is a key component in unlocking positive economic, environmental and social outcomes for the betterment of communities across our great nation. We remain committed to developing local capabilities in technology, supply chain, and talent and ensure they are realized to their fullest potential,” Abunayyan added.

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