Solar will soon compete directly with base load fossil fuels says ACWA’s CEO

In just the first 2 weeks of January, Saudi power firm ACWA Power has already secured 550MW of solar projects in MENA, 350 MW CSP in Morocco and 200 MW PV in UAE.

In early 2015, the Saudi power company, was announced first rank bidder to develop, construct, own and operate the 200 MW PV plant at Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, Dubai, at the lowest kWh tariff in the world.

“The cost of solar technologies are falling so quickly that within a few years the combination of solar PV and solar towers with storage will be able to compete directly with base load fossil fuels”, said Paddy Padmanathan, CEO at ACWA Power.

The power company was able to reach 5.84c/kWh in the Dubai tender because the cost of financing was below 4%. While most solar projects are structured 80% debt, and 20% equity, the 200 MW project got finance for 86% of the project, while more expensive equity took just 14%. At the Noor tender, ACWA reached a 12.4c/kWh tariff for the first year, which is less than half the tariff for CSP demanded just three years ago and it expects this price to keep falling.

ACWA Power with leading developers Martifer Solar, Gestamp Solar and First Solar will be meeting at Menasol 2015 (13-14 May, Dubai) to get detailed marketing intelligence RE programmes, timelines and technology suitability to identify the best opportunities in MENA. Find out more information here: