Although better known as one of the world's largest suppliers of oil, Saudi Arabia continues to join the solar age with the inauguration of one of its first larger-scale photovoltaic power plants on October 1. The facility, a 500KW system comprised of Solar Frontier CI(G)S thin-film modules, is located on Farasan Island and was installed by the Saudi Electricity Co. and Solar Frontier's parent company, Showa Shell Sekiyu (which is partially owned by the Saudi Arabian Oil Co.).
The PV power plant, expected to generate 864,000KWh/yr, will save the equivalent of transferring 28,000 barrels of diesel fuel to the island annually, the companies said.
SEC will be responsible for the operations and maintenance of the site, while Solar Frontier will provide continuous technical support through its office in the kingdom.
Solar Frontier is also the PV module supplier for a 10MW carport project under construction at Saudi Aramco's North Park office complex in Dhahran.
"Saudi Arabia is committed to building and refining alternative energy solutions," said Saudi Ambassador to the US, Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir. "This program is one large step that will benefit the environment and the Saudi people."