Mecca turns to solar

The holy city of Mecca is in line to be powered by a 100 MW solar farm, with the Saudi Arabian city currently initiating a tendering process to build the facility.

The winning bidder is expected to be selected in January next year, under a build-own-transfer contract, according to Bloomberg.

The city's mayor, Osama al-Bar, said it was also considering installing wind turbines, biomass, and energy from waste technology they could process the 4,000 metric tons a day of rubbish produced each day by the city's residents and the millions of pilgrims who visit the holy site each year.

However, the high temperatures experienced in Mecca mean solar power is likely to play the leading role in the Muslim pilgrimage city’s ambitious renewable energy plans.

"No city in Saudi Arabia owns power-generation assets, and we want to be first city that owns power plants and hopefully the first in the Muslim world," said Osama al-Bar.

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