Saudi Arabia will begin producing wind energy at the Dumat Al Jandal site within three years to offset domestic oil consumption and diversify its energy supply, according to reports.
Work will begin soon on Dumat Al Jandal, the Kingdom’s first major wind power facility, located in the Al-Jouf province in the north of Saudi Arabia, near the 300MW Sakaka solar plant.
The builders of the project, a consortium led by France’s EDF and Abu Dhabi’s Masdar, just closed financing to begin the project, and said that the financing was over-subscribed.
“The over-subscribed financing of the Dumat Al Jandal project further illustrates the confidence of local and international lenders, and the investment community, in the economy of the kingdom and its potential as a hub for highly cost-effective renewable energy development,” said Masdar chief executive Mohamed Al Ramahi.”
Danish company Vestas will supply the consortium with 99 turbines.
The Dumat Al Jandal project will be the region’s largest wind power facility when complete. It will supply electricity according to a 20-year power purchase agreement with the Saudi Power Procurement Company, a subsidiary of the state-owned Saudi Electricity Company, according to reports.
The cost of the project is estimated at $500 million.
The energy ministry has pre-qualified 60 companies to bid for 12 renewables projects it plans to tender this year, starting this month, with a goal of adding 3,000 megawatts of capacity.
The Dumat Al Jandal project is one of the earliest projects to take shape under the Kingdom’s National Renewable Energy Program, which aims to substantially increase the share of renewable energy in the total energy mix, targeting the generation of 3.45 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy by 2020 under the National Transformation Program (NTP), and 9.5GW by 2023, towards Vision 2030.