The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), the developer behind the world’s most ambitious regenerative tourism project, has announced it is creating the world’s largest battery storage facility to enable the entire site to be powered by renewable energy 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The development, which will be located on the west coast of Saudi Arabia, spans 28,000 square kilometres and will include 50 hotels when complete.
The development will be powered solely by wind and solar energy and will rely on the world’s largest battery storage facility at 1000 megawatt-hours (MWh).
CEO of TRSDC, John Pagano, said the size and scale of the TRSDC’s battery storage facility puts it at the forefront of the global transition towards carbon neutrality.
“Wind and solar capacity are set to exceed coal and gas in less than five years, and we are keen to drive the pace of change,” Mr Pagano said.
“We have always been committed to pushing the boundaries of what it means to be sustainable, and these efforts will play a significant role in the country’s ambition to become a greener nation. By powering the destination with 100 per cent clean and renewable energy, we will make this vision a reality.”
The battery storage facility is part of a significant public-private partnership (PPP) agreement that TRSDC recently awarded to an ACWA Power consortium to design, build, operate and transfer the Red Sea Project’s utilities infrastructure.
Battery storage is needed to support site-wide energy resilience, providing the power required at night when solar generation is not possible. It will also ensure supply in the case of outages when shutdowns occur due to potential faults or sandstorms affecting production. The blend of solar and wind power generation will also guarantee a reliable supply of energy to the destination.
The PPP agreement expects to generate up to 650,000 MWh of 100 per cent renewable energy to supply the destination and other utility systems, whilst emitting zero carbon dioxide (CO2). The resulting saving in CO2 emissions to the atmosphere is equivalent to nearly half a million tonnes each year.
Included in the 25-year concession agreement is the provision of renewable power, potable water, sustainable solid waste management, wastewater treatment and district cooling infrastructure.
The construction of three seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) plants at the project will provide clean drinking water.
Moreover, an innovative sewage treatment plant will allow waste to be managed in a way that enhances the environment, by creating new wetland habitats and supplementing irrigation water for landscaping at the destination.
This utility concession agreement allows for future expansion in line with the development of the destination, ensuring that the servicing needs of guests staying at the destination’s 50 hotels and 1,300 residential properties can be met by 2030.
The Red Sea Project has already passed significant milestones and work is on track to welcome the first guests by end of 2022, when the international airport and first four hotels will open.
The remaining 12 Phase One hotels are forecast to open in 2023, and will deliver a total of 3,000 rooms across five islands and two inland resorts.
About the Red Sea Project
The project will be developed over 28,000 square kilometres of pristine lands and waters along Saudi Arabia’s west coast and includes a vast archipelago of more than 90 islands.
The destination also features mountain canyons, dormant volcanoes, and ancient cultural and heritage sites. The destination will include hotels, residential properties, leisure, commercial and entertainment amenities, as well as supporting infrastructure that emphasises renewable energy and water conservation and re-use.
Activity for the first phase of development, which focuses on enabling the infrastructure to support future work, is progressing.
A marine infrastructure contract awarded in July 2019 includes the construction of a 3.3-kilometre crossing to Shurayrah (the main hub) and development has begun at the Coastal Village, which will be home to around 14,000 people who will work at the destination.