Nextracker has been selected to provide its smart solar trackers and TrueCapture technology for phase one of the Sudair Solar PV Plant (450 MW), Saudi Arabia’s largest solar power plant currently under construction in Sudair. When complete, it will provide clean energy to meet the needs of 185,000 homes and reduce carbon emissions in Saudi Arabia by 2.9 tons (2.6 tonnes) annually.
Nextracker makes yield-enhancing photovoltaic (PV) system technology and solar trackers. According to Nextracker, these products are recognized for maximum energy production and efficiency and endorsed by independent engineers and independent certifying companies. The selection of Nextracker bifacial optimized tracker solutions and TrueCapture technology is expected to boost the energy generation profile of Sudair Solar PV Project.
Sudair Solar PV IPP Project is developed by Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia through its subsidiary Badeel/WEHC, Saudi Aramco, and ACWA Power. The consortium partners have entrusted the engineering, procurement, and construction contract with the renewables arm of global construction giant Larsen & Toubro (L&T).
Kashif Rana, chief financial officer and acting chief portfolio management officer of ACWA Power, said “Sudair Solar PV IPP, which is one of the largest solar plants in the world, is a strategically important pillar of Saudi Arabia’s Net Zero commitment by 2060 as well as the nation’s ambitious target to derive 50% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030. We view Nextracker a key partner in delivering the most efficient energy production at the lowest possible cost.”
Marco Garcia, Nextracker chief commercial officer, said: “Bifacial optimized trackers and TrueCapture technology are particularly well suited to maximize solar energy production on power plant facilities in desert environments. The desert has a very high albedo, or brightness of the ground. Over the life of a solar plant, this makes a significant difference in the total amount of energy produced, bringing great value to our customers with the lowest levelized cost of energy.”
L&T released the order for Nextracker solar trackers and TrueCapture technology for part of the first phase of Sudair. Nextracker technology enables solar panels to track the path of the sun to maximize energy production versus fixed tilt ground mount applications.
“The use of local manufacturers for Sudair’s steel production needs is expected to have an economic impact,” Garcia said. Nextracker works with local Saudi steel manufacturing partners for the installation of domestic solar projects as well as for steel export to support the development of solar projects around the world.
In 2021, Nextracker exported more than 20,000 tons (18,143 tonnes) of Saudi Arabia steel valued at greater than US$30 million to help support the installation of the company’s NX Horizon and NX Gemini smart solar trackers at new solar plants in numerous countries, including the United States. Nextracker also used local streel manufacturers for all steel required to support the installation of Nextracker solar trackers and technology at the 405-MW Sakaka Solar Plant in Al Jouf, which was also developed by ACWA Power and consortium partners. The Sakaka installation required 14,000 tons (12,700 tonnes) of steel that represented greater than 45% of the total tracker value.
The Sudair Solar Power project is being developed in line with Saudi Arabia’s National Renewable Energy Programme (NREP) that aims to achieve 58.7 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030. PIF has been entrusted by the Kingdom to provide for 70% of the target capacity. It is being developed on a 30-square-kilometer site southeast of Al Majmahh in Riyadh Province.
The installation of Nextracker solar trackers and technology is expected to start in Q2 2022.