Saudi Arabia plans to build 1 GW of Concentrated Solar Power capacity by 2023, according to the government’s newly created Renewable Energy Project Development Office (REPDO).

Saudi Arabia’s National Renewable Energy Program (NREP) has set a target of 9.5 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2023 as the country looks to diversify away from hydrocarbon resources. Growing power demand and desalination needs present a major opportunity for new CSP with storage to complement rising PV capacity.

Saudi Arabia launched the first round of its NREP on April 17, inviting bids for 300 MW of PV power. The kingdom is to launch the bidding for 400 MW of wind power in the coming weeks and a second round of projects will invite bids for 620 MW of PV and 400 MW of wind capacity.

«Request for qualifications for these [second round] projects will go live during the last quarter of 2017,» REPDO said in a statement.

Saudi Arabia plans to carry out six procurement rounds for renewable energy by 2023, REPDO said at the Saudi Arabia Renewable Energy Investment Forum (SARIEF) held on April 17-18, according to a research note from Latham & Watkins law firm.

The rounds will feature an increasing percentage of CSP and waste-to-energy (WTE) projects, Latham & Watkins said.

«REPDO has forecast that by 2023, PV will account for approximately 5.5 GW, wind will account for approximately 2.5 GW, CSP will account for approximately 1 GW, and WTE will account for approximately 500 MW,» the research note said.

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