Look! Saudi Arabia & SoftBank Plan World's Largest Solar Project

Look! Saudi Arabia & SoftBank Plan World's Largest Solar Project

Look! Saudi Arabia & SoftBank Plan World's Largest Solar Project

Chief Executive Masayoshi Son announced Wednesday a US$200 billion solar power project in Saudi Arabia, which he described as "the world's biggest solar power generation".

The solar project is expected to generate at capacity 200 gigawatts of energy, which is far more than any solar project in existence produces.

Softbank Group Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reached the agreement in NY on Tuesday.

"This kind of a project would never have been feasible without the big vision we shared with the crown prince", Son told reporters.

"You have never seen something of this scale", he is reported as saying.

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The estimated $200 billion project cost includes building the solar parks, integrating battery technology and constructing a massive new facility that will vertically integrate solar equipment manufacturing, according to Son.

To start $5 billion will be used as the initial investment, of which the Japan-based SoftBank fund will give $1 billion.

He said the project will create 100,000 jobs, reduce Saudi Arabia's dependence on oil for its electricity, which it can sell internationally instead.

Part of the investment will come from Softbank's $93bn Vision Fund, the largest ever private equity fund of which Saudi Arabia is the largest backer. "We have great sunshine, land and great engineers and labour", Prince Mohammed told reporters in NY, as quoted by Bloomberg.

The deal deepens SoftBank's connections with Saudi Arabia and represents a step forward in the Prince's ambitions to diversify the economy. The money is to come from a 93-billion-dollar fund the firm set up previous year with financial backers including Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia also plans to build at least 16 nuclear reactors over the next 25 years at a cost of more than US$80 billion.

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