Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei has won the contract for Red Sea New City and will partner with Chinese construction and engineering company SEPCOIII on the project, as reported by the company’s official announcement on October 16. The project will install a 400 megawatt (MW) photovoltaic system along with a 1300 megawatt-hour (MWh) battery energy storage solution (BESS) on the coast of the Red Sea, making it the largest off-grid energy storage project in the world.
The signing of the contract took place at the 2021 Global Digital Power Summit, held on the same day in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). This will be the first large-scale commercial deployment of Huawei’s Smart String Energy Storage solution, a technology launched in April 2021 that integrates digital information technology into photovoltaic and energy storage to enhance operational efficiency, safety, and stability. Huawei currently has eight gigawatt-hours (GWh) of energy storage system applications in operation.
The Red Sea New City, also known as Neom, is one of the key components in Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 blueprint. The blueprint is a strategic framework to reduce Saudi Arabia’s dependence on oil and diversify its economy, as well as expand public services such as health, education, and infrastructure. Neom is envisioned to be a special economic zone and a zero-carbon city powered entirely by renewable energy. The city is also set to be home of the world’s largest green hydrogen plant, built by US hydrogen producer Air Products [APD:US] and beginning production in 2025. In 2016, Saudi Arabia announced its ambition to generate 50% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030. However, the country has not yet set any national net zero targets.