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tiptrot.com April 25, 2018


Everything you need to know about the Saudi-SoftBank solar power project

29 March 2018, 01:18 | Cedric Leonard

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, Saudi Arabia to create world's biggest solar power generation project

SoftBank's Son says to create world's biggest solar power company in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia and Japanese telecom giant-turned-tech investor SoftBank Group Corp. have expanded their partnership to create a massive solar power generation project. It will reach its maximum capacity by 2030 and may cost close to $1 billion per gigawatt.

SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son, known for backing ambitious endeavors with flair, unveiled the project Tuesday in NY at a ceremony with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

In comments to reporters in NY that have been reported widely, Softbank chief Masayoshi Son said the first phase would involve the development of 7.2GW of solar.

By 2030 the kingdom expects solar panels with a capacity of 200GW to roll out across the Saudi Arabia, which is more than triple the UK's total installed power capacity. Son called the solar project the world's biggest.

"You have never seen something of this scale", he is reported as saying.


Vision Fund also plans investing 10 billion Dollars in state-controlled Saudi Electricity as part of efforts to diversify electricity production with renewable energy and solar power. "Saudi Arabia is targeting 9.5 GW of renewable energy by 2023, to be achieved through projects created to localize the renewable energy value chain".

Speaking about the possibilities offered by Saudi Arabia, Masayoshi said at the briefing, "The kingdom has great sunshine, great size of available land and great engineers, great labour, but most importantly, the best and greatest vision".

Saudi Arabia and other Gulf monarchies have been examining ways to cut their energy bills and diversify power sources away from oil, their main export commodity. The venture also plans to build centers for research and development and education and training, he said. The country can shave off $40 billion power bills, he said as quoted by Bloomberg. The Prince has arrived in the United States with a three-week official visit, the channel said.

"Building will start this year", he added, with operations expected to start from next year. It was announced in NY after a Saudi-U.S. CEO forum held on the sidelines of the crown prince's multi-day tour across the U.S. Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, which has more than US$224 billion in assets, spent about US$54 billion on investments a year ago.



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