(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Saudi Arabia has completed its biggest ground-mounted photovoltaic plant as the Kingdom seeks to generate a third of its electricity with energy from the sun by 2032.
Germany's Phoenix Solar AG (PS4) developed the 3.5-MW plant in Riyadh that uses 12,684 panels from China's Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. (STP) and inverters from SMA Solar Technology AG (S92), Phoenix Solar said in a statement, relayed by Arab News.
"This project represents an important milestone in the development of the solar industry in the Kingdom," Ron Shen, Suntech's vice president of Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, was quoted as saying in a statement, cited by news agencies.
Analysts said Saudi Arabia plans to boost renewable energy use as a way to pare back on oil consumption used for domestic desalinization and power plants, potentially saving 523,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day over the next 20 years.
The Kingdom aims to have 41,000 MW of solar capacity within two decades, Maher Al-Odan, a consultant at the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, said last year.
The 3.5 MW system is owned by Saudi Aramco and installed on the grounds of the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC), the world's largest energy research center, in Riyadh.
Klaus Friedl, vice president projects and head Middle East of Phoenix Solar, said: "We are pleased to complete this historic project which will provide clean, renewable energy for KAPSARC as well as for the Saudi grid. We chose Suntech's panels because of their proven durability and performance in high-temperature, desert conditions."
Utilizing Suntech's premium solar panels, Phoenix Solar designed and built the 3.5MW system, which will enable KAPSARC to achieve LEED platinum certification.