Saudi Arabia plans $6.4bn solar energy factory

Plans to build a $6.4 billion (£3.9bn) solar PV manufacturing complex has been unveiled in Saudi Arabia. The plant will be located at Wa’ad Al Shammal, an industrial city in […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Plans to build a $6.4 billion (£3.9bn) solar PV manufacturing complex has been unveiled in Saudi Arabia.

The plant will be located at Wa’ad Al Shammal, an industrial city in the north of the country. US-based manufacturer SunEdison said it will jointly fund a study with the Saudi Arabian Investment Company and the nation’s Public Investment Fund regarding the factory.

The plant is expected to produce enough PV modules that could generate 3GW of electricity every year – equivalent to the output of three nuclear reactors.

Saudi Arabia still produces more than half of its electricity by burning oil. The Government aims to to diversify the kingdom’s economy and has set a goal of generating a third of its electricity from renewable sources by 2032.

Ahmad Chatila, CEO of SunEdison said: “We anticipate substantial growth of solar PV within the Kingdom and the region. This project will support that growth and the growth aspirations of SunEdison and our Saudi partners.”

The factory is expected to start production in 2017.