Saudi Arabia Gets Cheapest Bids for Solar Power in Auction

Anthony Dipaola for Bloomberg: Saudi Arabia received offers to supply solar electricity for the cheapest prices ever recorded, marking the start of a $50 billion program to diversify the oil producer’s domestic energy supplies away from fossil fuels.

The energy ministry said Abu Dhabi’s Masdar and Electricite de France SA bid to supply power from a 300-megawatt photovoltaic plant for as little as 6.69736 halalas a kilowatt hour, or 1.79 cents, according to a webcast of the bid-opening ceremony on Tuesday in Riyadh. If awarded, that would beat the previous record for a solar project in Abu Dhabi for 2.42 cents a kilowatt-hour.

Saudi Arabia and its neighbors are among Middle Eastern oil producers looking to renewables to feed growing domestic consumption that’s soaking up crude they’d rather export to generate income. While the offers submitted are remarkably low, the actual cost of power coming from the projects may be inflated by terms within the contracts that aren’t yet published, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance in Zurich.  Full Article:

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