Saudi Arabia’s Renewable Energy Project Development Office (REPDO) has shortlisted ACWA Power and a consortium led by Japanese conglomerate Marubeni Corporation to develop 300MW of solar PV in Sakaka, Al Jouf.
REPDO will award the project in January 2018, and the deadline for financial close of the scheme is set for February 2018.
The project will be backed by a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Saudi Power Procurement Company (SPPC).
The other members of Marubeni's consortium are Khaled Ahmed Juffali Energy and Utilities Limited and Axia Power Holdings BV.
The solar project will be implemented in Sakaka, Al Jouf, as part of round one of the National Renewable Energy Program (NREP).
Last year, REPDO revealed that EDF Energies Nouvelles (EDF EN) and Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company Masdar had made the lowest bid of just SAR 0.06697 (USD 0.0178/EUR 0.0148) per kWh, while ACWA Power came in second with a SAR-0.0878/kWh offer.
At the time, commentators noted that the large gap of more than 0.5 cents between the top two bids perhaps denoted strong regional competition, with Abu Dhabi-based Masdar trying to gain favour over local firm ACWA Power.
However, the Saudi government also made it clear that each bid would be thoroughly evaluated for compliance with requirements, including local content mandates, before the final shortlisting.
“All eight bids that were submitted have been subjected to a detailed evaluation of material compliance to RFP requirements, including the 30% local content component for round one NREP projects. All companies that have submitted bids for round one Sakaka PV RFP are invited to participate in future projects of the NREP," An REPDO statement said.