The Kuwait government has commenced a tender for solar projects totaling 1.1GW at the Al Shagaya Renewable Energy facility, situated in the west of Kuwait City. The request for qualification was jointly launched by the Kuwait Authority for Partnership Projects (KAPP) and the Ministry of Electricity & Water & Renewable Energy, marking the third phase of development at the Al Shagaya facility.
While details regarding the tender format, whether for a single large project or multiple smaller projects with various investors, were not explicitly stated, successful projects are expected to enter into a 30-year power purchase agreement with the ministry for the electricity generated.
The criteria outlined for potential bidders include experience in utility-scale solar development, with successful applicants having developed a minimum of two solar independent power producers, each with a net power output of at least 200MW.
The Al Shagaya facility plays a pivotal role in Kuwait's clean energy strategy, aiming to meet 15% of the country's energy demand through renewables by 2030. As of 2022, Kuwait had fulfilled just 0.3% of its electricity demand with renewables, as reported by the government. The successful implementation of the Al Shagaya project is expected to contribute significantly to accelerating the nation's transition to renewable energy sources.
Anticipated to have a total power capacity of 2GW, the Al Shagaya facility will encompass solar PV, concentrated solar, and wind power. The current tender round represents over half of the envisioned total capacity.
This development aligns with the broader trends in the Middle East solar sector, which has witnessed substantial investments in recent years. Notably, ACWA Power and the Saudi Public Investment Fund announced plans for a 4.5GW solar portfolio in Saudi Arabia last year. Additionally, LONGi's shipment of over 1GW of modules to the region in the first half of the year underscores the growing significance of solar energy in the Middle East.