Saudi Arabia Completes Massive Solar Farm
Saudi Arabia hits a major milestone in solar power generation, one step closer to achieving aggressive goals in renewable energy
2 FEB 2013 Carin Hall
Saudi Arabia, the world leader in oil production, has completed its largest ground-mounted solar farm in capital Riyadh.
The 3.5 MW plant, built by Germany-based Pheonix Solar AG, uses 12,684 solar panels from China's Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd., with inverters supplied from SMA Solar Technology AG.
"We are pleased to complete this historic project which will provide clean, renewable energy for KAPSARC as well as for the Saudi grid,” Phoenix Solar's Middle East Chief Klaus Friedl was quoted as saying in the report.
The project is a major milestone in the Kingdom, as it strives to generate a third of its electricity with solar power by 2032. The country plans to boost the use of renewable energy as a means to cut back on domestic use of oil, which could easily translate to billions of dollars in annual savings. More money will be made from exporting the oil, while less money will be spent on domestic production of electricity.
Related story: Saudi Arabia to Become a 100% Renewable Energy Nation
Within two decades, Saudi Arabia aims to have 41,000 megawatts of solar capacity, according to earlier statements made from Maher al-Odan, a consultant at the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy.
"We'll build part of our product in your region, so we'll create jobs. And we'll offer you electricity less costly than you pay now, and you can sell that oil to America or whomever,” CEO Tom Werner told the San Francisco Gate. “There's a jobs element and a technology element and a timing element, and it's happening now because the cost of solar has come down so much."