Saudi Arabia to Double Solar Capacity With 50-Megawatt Project

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology is planning a 50-megawatt solar farm that would more than double the amount of energy generated from sunlight in the world’s largest oil exporter.

King Abdulaziz City signed agreements with Saudi Electricity Co. and Saudi Technology Development & Investment Co. for the project in the city of Saudi Aflaj, according to a statement Thursday from the official Saudi Press Agency. Financial details weren’t disclosed.

Saudi Arabia has embarked on a solar development program as countries in the region seek to reduce the amount of oil they burn for electricity.

Saudi Arabia, with ample solar resources and open land, eventually “won’t need fossil fuels,” Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi said at a climate conference in Paris in May.

Saudi Arabia has less than 50 megawatts of solar power capacity now, about 0.1 percent of Germany’s 38 gigawatts, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s database of renewable energy projects.

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