Abdullah bin Mohammed Al-Suwayed, undersecretary of Jazan governorate, on Saturday inaugurated the first solar energy plant in the Kingdom.The 500 kilowatts capacity plant is built in Farasan Island, southwest Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) established the plant in association with Japanese Showa Shell. SEC's Chief Executive Officer Ali Saleh Al-Barrak, Saudi Aramco President Khalid Al-Falih and the Japanese Ambassador to the Kingdom Shigeru Endo attended the inauguration.
The establishment of the solar power plant comes in line with SEC's endeavors to introduce clean energy. By building nuclear and renewable power plants, Saudi Arabia hopes to reduce its consumption of fossil fuels that it would rather export. The Farasan project should save about 28k barrels of diesel that were used for power generation in the island. According to Barrak, growth on power demand in Saudi Arabia during the last five years is more than 8%. Peak hour loads soared from 23K Megawatt to more than 48k Megawatt. There is also a steady increase in power consumption for domestic purposes.The situation not only demand SEC build more plants in order to cope with increasing demand, but it also poses a challenge on Aramco to meet increasing fuel requirements.The plant comes within the Kingdom's startegy to diversify power sources and preserve fuel for the future generations.
The generated power will be delivered exclusively to SEC which will manage operation and maintenance. Equipment guarantee will remain with Showa Shell while technical support and technology will be provided by the Japanese company.