A consortium made up of Masdar, EDF Renewables, and Nesma Renewable Energy has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Saudi Power Procurement (SPPC) to develop, build, and operate the 1.1GW Al Henakiyah solar power plant in Saudi Arabia.

The PPA will last for a period of 25 years.

To be located in the Al Madinah province, the Saudi Arabian solar photovoltaic (PV) project entails an estimated cost of $1bn.

It is scheduled to achieve financial close in early 2024 and is expected to be connected to the grid in 2025.

Once operational, the Al Henakiyah solar power plant will generate clean energy to power over 190,000 households annually.

Besides, the solar PV project will eliminate more than 1.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.

Masdar CEO Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi said: “The Kingdom is a key strategic market for Masdar, and we are committed to supporting the Ministry of Energy and the SPPC achieve the targets set out under Vision 2030 and the Saudi Green Initiative, as the country accelerates its green transition toward net zero emissions by 2060.”

The consortium won the Al Henakiyah solar project after its bid of $16.84/MWh was determined to be the most cost-competitive.

According to Masdar, the solar PV power plant will contribute towards Saudi Arabia’s goal of increasing the share of the renewables in the country’s energy mix to around 50% by 2030.

Furthermore, the first five years of operations at the Al Henakiyah solar power plant will employ 50% of Saudi nationals. The proportion is expected to increase to 75% during the project’s entire operational life.

EDF Renewables chairman and CEO and EDF Group renewable energies senior executive vice president Bruno Bensasson said: “Together, we are geared to navigate the dynamic landscapes of clean energy enabling a sustainable and prosperous future for Saudi Arabia while supporting the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 to produce 50% of its electricity from renewable sources.”