Saudi Arabia’s Renewable Energy Project Development Office (Repdo), which is part of the Ministry of Energy, Industry & Mineral Resources, is considering changing the location of the first major wind project to be tendered under the kingdom’s National Renewable Energy Programme (NREP).

The first 400MW wind project under the NREP was scheduled to be located at Midyan in the northwest of the kingdom.

In April, Repdo announced that 24 companies had been prequalified to participate in the Midyan wind scheme after receiving prequalification entries in late May. The kingdom’s new renewables body was initially planning to have issued request for proposals (RFPs) for the Midyan project on 18 April when it released tender documents for the 300MW photovoltaic (PV) project at Sakaka in the northern part of the kingdom, the second of the two 700MW projects under the first round of the NREP.

However, according to sources close to the NREP, the location for the first 400MW wind project is likely to be shifted from Midyan. According to sources, the project may be shifted from Midyan as the government is considering a large scale tourism development there, and it is unclear how much land will be free for the renewables project.

As a result, the client may proceed with a planned 400MW wind project at Doumat al-Jandal to complete the first round of the NREP, which was planned to be procured under the 1,020MW second round of the NREP.

MEED first reported in January that the ministry was going to push ahead with the initial 700MW of the first 3.45GW of renewable energy projects planned by 2020 in the first quarter of 2017. The NREP sets out a target for 3.45GW of renewable energy to be developed by 2020 under the National Transformation Plan (NTP), and for 9.5GW of renewable energy capacity to be established by 2023.