Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman and Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO of SoftBank Group Corp inked a solar power project agreement in New York on Wednesday.
According to international media, Saudi Arabia and SoftBank signed the agreement for a $200 billion solar power project, calling it the largest of its kind in the world in terms of capacity.
Saudi Arabia aims to generate 200 gigawatts of energy from the project while reducing dependence on oil. The project includes solar panels, battery storage and a panel manufacturing facility in Saudi Arabia.
For comparison, this capacity is double that of China's 100 gigawatts of installed solar energy power capacity.
Moreover, it surpasses the capacity of nearly 6,000 solar projects currently in operation, under construction or in development in the U.S., representing roughly 70 gigawatts of capacity, according to the major solar projects list database of the Solar Energy Industries Association.
Completion of the entire project is planned by 2030, while installation of solar panels are scheduled to start this year, and production of electricity by the middle of next year.
For the initial project phase, SoftBank's Vision Fund will invest $1 billion and the remaining $4 billion will come from other financing opportunities.
In accordance with the project, solar parks will be built throughout Saudi Arabia and a large battery storage facility will be erected to store the energy generated by the panels.
Headquartered in Japan, SoftBank is a major telecommunications and internet company in the country.
On Tuesday, during Prince Salman's U.S. visit, Saudi and U.S. companies signed 36 memorandums of understanding worth $16 billion.
By Firdevs Yuksel