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The tourism project aims to run completely on renewable energy

The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), the developer behind an ambitious tourism project, is creating the world’s largest battery storage facility to enable the entire site to be powered by renewable energy 24 hours a day.

The project is taking place on the west coast of Saudi Arabia over a space of 28,000 km² and will include hotels, residential properties, a marina, commercial and entertainment amenities. The complex will rely on the world’s largest battery storage facility at 1000MWh.

“The size and scale of TRSDC’s battery storage facility puts this iconic regenerative tourism destination 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,” said John Pagano, CEO of TRSDC.

There is reported to be around 4,000 workers on site, and over 500 contracts collectively worth SAR7.5 billion (US$2 billion) have been awarded so far. The first phase of the project is scheduled to open in 2022, when the international airport and the first four hotels will open. 

The battery storage facility is one part of a 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. It is hoped that the blend of solar and wind power generation will guarantee a reliable supply of energy to the destination.

The PPP agreement expects to generate up to 650,000 MWh of 100% renewable energy to supply the destination and other utility systems, whilst emitting zero CO2. The resulting saving in CO2 emissions to the atmosphere is equivalent to nearly half a million tons each year.

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