A joint venture between Qatar Electricity and Water Company and Qatar Petroleum will start work on the largest solar power project in Qatar this year.
According to media reports, construction work on a 200 megawatt (MW) solar power project will begin in June of this year and is expected to be fully operational by 2020. The project can be expanded to a capacity of 500 megawatts.
The project will be developed by Siraj Power, a joint venture of Qatar Electricity and Water Company and Qatar Petroleum. Siraj Power, which has a capital base of $500 million, is owned 60% by QEWC while Qatar Petroleum owns the 40% balance.
Qatar has already announced plans to set up 1,800 MW of solar power capacity by 2020, which is expected to contribute up to 16% of total power generation. The country has expressed its intention to hold auctions for solar power projects on multiple occasions, however, these intentions have not yielded any substantial results so far.
Under a long-term program, Qatar plans to set up 10 gigawatts of solar capacity by 2030. Interestingly, however, these targets — or any other renewable energy targets, for that matter — are not listed under Qatar’s commitment to the United Nations through the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC).