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The Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) has signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with SoftBank's Vision Fund LP (SBVF) to create the New Solar Energy Plan 2030, which envisions the development of between 150 GW and 200 GW solar power generation capacity in Saudi Arabia by 2030.
The New Solar Energy Plan will also involve the establishment of an electricity generation company in Saudi Arabia, which will commission two solar generation projects with 3 GW and 4.2 GW capacity by 2019. The estimated cost of the two projects is US$5 billion, with US$1 billion being provided by SBVF and US$4 billion by project financing.
Furthermore, the MoU commits the parties to explore the manufacture and development of energy storage systems, and establish joint ventures for research and development.
The Plan is intended to enable Saudi Arabia to export power and solar panels overseas, as well as establish solar and battery manufacturing ecosystems in the Kingdom, helping to support diversification of the energy sector and high-tech job creation. It forms part of the government's commitment to localizing a significant portion of the renewable energy value chain in the Saudi economy, including research and development and manufacturing.
PIF alleges that these projects will help create up to 100,000 direct and indirect jobs in the country and will contribute US$40 billion to the GDP on a cumulative basis by 2030.
The Plan was first launched in October 2017, as reported on this platform. The next step in the process is the completion of due diligence, which PIF and SBVF intend to do by the end of May 2018.