A battery storage facility that is claimed to be the world’s largest is set to begin construction on the west coast of Saudi Arabia.
The complex, which is being developed by The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), will rely on the 1000MWh battery storage facility when its renewables aren’t generating power.
The firm said it will provide site-wide energy resilience and provide the power required at night when solar generation is not possible. It will also ensure supply in the case of outages when shutdowns occur due to potential faults or sandstorms affecting production.
The blend of solar and wind power generation will also guarantee a reliable supply of energy to the destination and will save around half a million tons of CO2 emissions each year, the developers said.
The battery storage facility is one part of a 25-year public-private partnership (PPP) agreement that TRSDC recently awarded to an ACWA Power consortium to design, build, operate and transfer The Red Sea Project’s utilities infrastructure.
Up to 650,000MWh of renewable energy is expected to be generated to supply the destination and other utility systems under the PPP agreement.
Saudi Arabia is one the world’s largest oil exporters, but has been focusing on renewable projects in recent years as it tries to lower its reliance on fossil fuels.
“The size and scale of TRSDC’s battery storage facility puts this iconic regenerative tourism destination at the forefront of the global transition towards carbon neutrality. Wind and solar capacity are set to exceed coal and gas in less than five years, and we are keen to drive the pace of change,” said John Pagano, CEO of TRSDC.
“We have always been committed to pushing the boundaries of what it means to be sustainable, and these efforts will play a significant role in the country’s ambition to become a greener nation. By powering the destination with 100 per cent clean and renewable energy, we will make this vision a reality,” he added.
As well as the renewable energy, the site will see construction of three seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) plants to provide clean drinking water.
Additionally, its sewage treatment plant will allow waste to be managed in a way that enhances the environment, by creating new wetland habitats and supplementing irrigation water for landscaping at the destination.
The site is expected to welcome the first guests by end of 2022, when the international airport and first four hotels will open. The remaining 12 Phase One hotels will open in 2023, delivering a total of 3,000 rooms across five islands and two inland resorts.
At the end of 2017, Tesla finished construction on a 100MW-output battery in Australia designed to maintain electricity flow in the country’s most wind-dependent state.