Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia solar energy program gives massive boost to concentrated solar power industry

King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (K.A. CARE) announced the first details of their Renewable Energy Program, which contained a number of key takeaways that the Concentrating Solar Power industry must now consider.

On 21 February 2013, K.A.CARE announced the launch of its eagerly awaited Renewable Energy Competitive Procurement Portal together with a White Paper outlining how the procurement process will take place.

The introductory round of the Competitive Procurement Process (CPP) will consist of five to seven projects utilising different technologies. The winners of this first round are expected to be announced in the next 9 to 12 months. Estimates for the CSP allocation are around 900 MW for the introductory round and 1,200 MW for the second round.

These first projects are required to feature a minimum of four hours of storage in the first round, with a nameplate capacity of no less than five megawatts.

One notable highlight of the white paper is the inclusion of high local content requirements – which start at 60% in Round 1. Interestingly, these requirements are specific to Parabolic Trough and Tower technology, making no mention of Fresnel or Dish technologies at this stage in the process.

K.A. CARE, responsible for implementing the Renewable Energy Program in Saudi Arabia, have also indicated their commitment to research and development, with 1% of revenues to be invested into R&D. These efforts will be supported by a newly-established Developer Research Advisory Council (DRAC).

Last week, K.A. CARE confirmed that they will be sending a delegation to the 5th MENASOL Conference (14-15 May, Dubai) in order to build further relationships with the CSP industry. The conference is growing fast, with over 45 speakers now confirmed to participate.