A luxury resort in Saudi Arabia will use 100 per cent renewable energy, backed up by a 1GW battery
Spotted: Saudi Arabia’s oil will not last forever, and the demand for petroleum products may decrease even before that. So it is perhaps not surprising the kingdom has embraced a number of ideas for a fossil-free future. One of these is the plan to turn the nation into a high-end tourist hotspot. Part of this is the Red Sea Project, a development that includes 22 unspoiled islands featuring luxury accommodations and powered by solar panels, wind turbines – and an enormous battery.
The project, named Coral Bloom, has been designed by Foster + Partners. The main part of the tourist project will be located on Shurayah island, where a new airport will provide access to an additional 21 islands. There will be 11 hotels on Shurayah, with a further 39 hotels and 1,300 residential properties planned for the future.
The resorts are designed to blend into and enhance the local environment and nearby coral reefs and are constructed using lightweight, prefabricated materials. When complete, the islands’ resorts and residences will be powered entirely by solar and wind. To maintain a consistent supply of power, it will also use the world’s largest battery storage facility, with 1,000 MWh of storage to keep the project going 24/7, on renewables alone.
Foster + Partners’ Gerard Evenden describes the firms’ vision for the project as, “inspired by the island’s natural state, with the hotels designed to give the impression that they have washed up on the beaches and nestled among the dunes almost like driftwood.” John Pagano, CEO of The Red Sea Development Project has added that sustainability was an important design consideration, saying the project’s sustainability is important, “not just for our destination, but globally too. This is achieved by going beyond simply protecting the environment, to applying a regenerative approach.”
Developing battery storage is a crucial part of being able to rely on renewable sources of energy. This is one reason why we have seen so many recent innovative battery storage ideas. These include a graphene-based super-battery and the development of potassium-ion batteries as a safer alternative to lithium.