The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Sources (MIEM) has launched the National Renewable Energy Program (NREP) for the implementation of 9.5 GW of renewable power by 2023, with an initial target of 3.45 GW by 2020. M/s SoftBank Energy corporation had planned to develop an 6000 MW grid-interactive Solar Energy Park Photovoltaic Power Project in the Sudair Industrial City, South of the City of Majmahh in the Riyadh Province in KSA. SoftBank has appointed Gensol as the project consultant to conduct a pre-feasibility study providing a Detailed Project Report (DPR) and Field Quality Plan (FQP) for the envisaged 6000 MW Solar PV Power Project in Riyadh Province in Saudi Arabia.
Given the context that Saudi Arabia is now venturing to expand its renewable energy capacity, it is evident that it is ambitious in planning and expanding solar capacity and install smart grid technology. It is significant to meet the rise in demand and build the economy without making cuts in oil exports.
Gensol Team devised a study methodology to attain the details for the Detailed Project Report. Both site-specific assessments and technical assessments were carried out. Site-specific study for the mapped area included site visits to the proposed area to collect information. The site-specific assessment included the data about the land topography, land accessibility, type of vegetation, type of soil, location of the existing power house, grid networks, climatic data, availability of labour and water, seismic zones, and the drainage system requirement. The identified land is well suited for the development of the solar power plant and has good accessibility, adequate power, evacuation facilities with electrical infrastructure.
After the comparative study of the major PV technologies considering all the aspects, the polycrystalline module has been selected for the proposed project in the CAPEX business model. The Structural civil design, power plant design criteria, selection of inverters and cables, tracking systems and monitoring systems were appraised. The required project registration and clearances that have to be attained from the government were enlisted and detailed for the establishment of the project. The required facilities like inverter rooms, control rooms, power evacuation plans, water requirements for construction and module cleaning, first aid stations, operation and maintenance requirements along with manuals along with the training required for O&M staff were comprehensively stated.
The Environment & Social Impact Assessment evaluation indicates that the project falls under Category 2 due to the limited adverse social and adverse impacts. The report also encompasses the Project Implementation Strategy, Financial analysis, Risk assessment and mitigation of the project. The well-planned step by step analysis and evaluation proves that the project is expected to provide decent financial returns in turns of adding socio-economic benefits in the provincial towns of the country.