Siting and impact studies for the construction of a Photovoltaic Plant

Siting & Permitting Buildings & Infrastructures Saudi Arabia

Context and challenges

This major industrial city, NEOM, is born from the ambition of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 to see the country develop into a pioneering and thriving model of excellence in various and important sectors. NEOM deals with a leading global hub through value chains of industry and technology.

The project has started in 2017 with its official announcement in 2017. Phase 1, in July 2018, entailed the NEOM vision and high-level strategies of the sectors within NEOM. Phase 2 began shortly after, articulating all 16 sector strategies (e.g. Energy, Food, Sport etc.) and 8 regional strategies (e.g. NEOM Bay). Review and integration exercise is to ensure all sectors were aligned with one another and synchronized to the overall vision.

NEOM Industrial City (NIC) will be located in the Duba Region and will cover roughly 200-250 km² of land, of which 40 km² will be situated on the Red Sea waterfront.

In this context, this client, the company set up for the construction of this industrial city, has appointed Assystem Envy & Assystem Radicon to perform area assessment, site screening and Site Characterization services for the construction of the PhotoVoltaic (PV) Power Plant. As part of the NEOM Industrial City, it will form the basis of design and construction packages to enable the NIC build-out to be conducted. Consequentially, specific outputs were required to be delivered on a fast-track basis to facilitate the construction for key industrial facilities beginning at Q1-2020.

Project scope

  • PV Plant Inception Report
  • PV Plant Background & Statement of Needs
  • Surface geophysical surveys:
  • MAM (Microtremor Array Measurement): 5 lines
  • MASW (Multichannel Analysis of Surface Waves) (short array): 5 lines
  • MASW (Multichannel Analysis of Surface Waves) (long array): 5 lines
  • Seismic refraction: 5 lines
  • Onshore drilling in 3 boreholes
  • 34 SPT (Standard Penetration Test) at 3 onshore boreholes
  • Topographical Studies
  • Optic base drone survey (2.34 km²) and Orthophoto generation (resolution, 5 cm)
  • Digital Terrain Models (DTM) production
  • Contour data (0.5 m)
  • Establishment of benchmark point
  • PV Plant Site Area Report
  • PV Plant Preliminary & Final Interpretative Report


  • Construction of the plant started on schedule (first quarter of 2020) thanks to the rapid delivery of the components.
  • Construction of a database for the design of the PV Plant thanks to the acquisition of the following data and recommendations:
  • Site Characterization data
  • Foundation recommendations
  • Earth works recommendations

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