Sungrow awarded 600MWh BESS contract for Saudi Arabia’s ‘smart city’ Neom

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During the first China-Arab States Summit last week, Sungrow signed a battery storage supply agreement for Neom, Saudi Arabia’s new ‘smart city’ megadevelopment.

The summit on 9 December, attended by Chinese premier Xi Jinping and leaders of 21 Arab League countries, aimed to reinforce ties between the nations and increase cooperation in areas including economic development and building links between communities.

Its outcome included Chinese and Saudi Arabian and Saudi organisations signing 34 agreements for various energy, security, investment, and other initiatives.

PV inverter manufacturer and battery storage system manufacturer-integrator Sungrow signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Saudi Arabia-headquartered developer ACWA Power for supply of a 536MW/600MWh battery energy storage system (BESS).

The Neom smart city project is being built in northwestern Saudi Arabia at a reported cost of more than US$500 billion, as part of the country’s Saudi Vision 2030, which emphasises economic and social diversification away from dependence on fossil fuels.

Backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund sovereign wealth fund, it is promised to be a 100% renewable energy-powered major city serving as both a liveable space and tourist destination.

The MoU builds on a longstanding relationship between ACWA Power and Sungrow. It was one of 13 deals or agreements the developer signed with Chinese entities during or around the Summit, building on a claimed US$10 billion of projects ACWA has worked with Chinese companies on since it opened offices in Beijing in 2009.

Other MoUs ACWA Power signed last week were with solar PV manufacturers Jinko Solar and Jolywood, China Southern Power Grid International, banks Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), Bank of China, a hydroelectric power company and others.

Sungrow’s Neom deal is roughly half the size of fellow Chinese company Huawei’s BESS supply deal for another major ACWA Power project in Saudi Arabia.

Huawei will provide a 1,300MWh BESS for the Red Sea Project, a new sustainable tourism destination which is also part of Saudi Vision 2030, and for which ACWA has been contracted as developer of energy solutions.

That deal was signed by Huawei Digital Power and EPC contractor SEPCO III, with the project also set to include 400MW of solar PV, as reported by Energy-Storage.news in October 2021. A US$1.3 billion debt facility for the Red Sea Project was closed in February this year.

Sungrow meanwhile said the Neom MoU builds on a successful track record for the company in delivering PV and solar-plus-storage projects in the Middle East including work on Sudair, a 1.6GW PV plant in Saudi Arabia.

Earlier this week, Energy-Storage.news reported that Sungrow will supply a 638MWh DC-coupled BESS solution to a solar PV plant in Chile for Engie’s regional subsidiary. The manufacturer has recently launched its latest iteration of grid-scale and industrial liquid cooled BESS solutions.    

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