China’s Huawei Digital Power will build a 1,300 megawatt-hours (MWh) battery energy storage system (Bess) at the Red Sea Project in Saudi Arabia.

Chinese firm Sepco 3, which is the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for the Red Sea multi-utilities package, awarded the contract to Huawei Digital Power.

It is understood that the contract entails the development of 400MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity.

The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) awarded the contract to develop all its utilities infrastructure to Saudi-based utilities developer Acwa Power on 16 November 2020.

At the time, it was reported that the utilities infrastructure would include 210MW of renewable energy utilising wind and solar turbines in the first phase, three seawater reverse osmosis plants, a solid waste management centre, an innovative sewage treatment plant and district cooling.

The project is a 100% private utilities project, with the client not investing any of its own capital in developing the infrastructure.

Instead, TRSDC committed to purchasing its utilities from Acwa Power and its consortium partners for 25 years.

It is a single contract, under which Acwa Power will form partnerships with other investors and will appoint EPC contractors for elements of the planned multiple utilities.

Battery energy storage

The contract, which utilises a design, build, operate and transfer model, entails building the world’s largest battery energy storage facility of 1,000MWh.

This solution will enable the development to be powered 100% by renewable energy and remain completely off-grid.

The planned facility at the Red Sea Project eclipses current world-record holders, including Tesla ’s 730MWh Bess facility, which is under construction in a substation in California in the US.

The utilities infrastructure will support the development’s first phase, which is due to be completed in 2022. It includes 16 hotels and an international airport.

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