Saudi Arabia installs 750,000 solar panels to power its luxury Red Sea Project

They will be connected to the world's largest battery with a capacity of 1,200 megawatts per hour.
Ameya Paleja
Stock image of large number of solar panels installed
Stock image of large number of solar panels installed


Saudi Arabia has successfully completed the installation of 750,000 solar panels as part of the first phase of its luxury Red Sea Project, Arab News reported. The panels will feed into five solar power stations that aim to deliver 100 percent grid independence to the holiday destination.

The Red Sea Project is the brainchild of Red Sea Global, a company owned by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia with an aim to develop an environment-friendly tourist destination. It is one of the giga plans launched by the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, alongside the NEOM project that Interesting Engineering has previously covered.

Through these projects, Saudi Arabia is trying to establish itself as a hub for tourism and business and as a country that can work with renewable energy sources, away from dependence on oil. With vast amounts of dry and arid regions, Saudi Arabia can rely extensively on solar power, and the Red Sea Project is a testament to what can be achieved through solar power alone.

The Red Sea Project

Announced in July 2017, the Red Sea Project is a property megaproject located on the western coast of Saudi Arabia. Scheduled to be operational by 2030, the project will host 50 resorts with 8,000 rooms and over 1,000 residential buildings. These are spread across 22 islands and six inland areas.

The project's first phase includes 16 hotels and retail and entertainment venues and will be powered entirely through solar energy generated using the 750,000 panels installed so far.

One of the solar stations is located near the Six Senses Southern Dunes, the Red Sea Resort, and Spa, which will gain the distinction of being the first facility in the project to be fully solar-powered.

The world's largest battery

Since the panels cannot generate power at night, the project also considers installing the world's largest battery-based energy storage solution. The facility is expected to have a storage capacity of 1,200 MWh to deliver grid independence for the mega project, a likely first of its kind.

Saudi Arabia installs 750,000 solar panels to power its luxury Red Sea Project
Stock image of a battery unit for storing renewable energy

The facilities and even transportation for tourists right from the time after they land at the International airport to movements between different project locations will be powered by solar energy.

The Red Sea Project is an essential milestone for Saudi Arabia as it aims for net zero emissions by 2060. When operational, it will also serve as an example for other countries and demonstrate that megaprojects can be entirely driven by renewables and independent of fossil fuel-powered grids.

It also marks a transition for Saudi Arabia, which has historically relied on oil for its economy. It is now looking at other avenues and leveraging its geographic location to serve as a business and tourism hub.