SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son has a penchant for backing ambitious projects and the latest project to win his stamp of approval is what’s billed as the “world’s largest solar farm.” The project itself is expected to cost $100 billion with the capability to produce 200 gigawatts of renewable energy. That’s going to be a third more than what the entire global photovoltaic industry supplied globally in 2017.
SoftBank and Saudi Arabia have signed a memorandum of understanding to build a $200 billion solar farm in the Kingdom. It’s one of the largest renewable energy deals that the Kingdom has signed so far as it has been trying to establish a foothold in clean energy and wean itself off oil.
The project is planned for the Saudi desert and at 200 gigawatts, it’s going to be 100 times larger than the next biggest proposed solar farm. If the farm is built, it would almost triple Saudi Arabia’s electricity generation capacity two-thirds of which is currently accounted for by natural gas and the rest by oil.
Son predicts that this project is going to create up to 100,000 jobs in the Kingdom and save it $40 billion in power costs. The farm is expected to reach its maximum capacity of 2020 with an estimated cost of $1 billion a gigawatt – hence the $200 billion figure.