Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has one of the biggest electric power networks in the world. The total available generation capacity is about 74.3 GW with a 6.7% annual growth rate of demand in the past five years according to Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) 2016 annual report. Electricity is delivered to more than 8.6 million customers through a total transmission networks of 5,161 km-circular and distribution networks of 70,300 km-circular. By 2021, the total available capacities in the Kingdom need to be raised to 91 megawatts, the total number of customers is expected to reach (10.8) million.
In addition to the rapid increase in electrical energy demand, other factors such as environmental challenges being faced by the world, increasing oil prices and climate change concerns have all led to the increasing use of Renewable Energy Resources (RERs) in the generation of electrical energy. Increasing governmental support such as feed in tariff and efforts in reducing gas emissions also yield to the increase penetration of RERs.
On the other hand, the lack of circuit capacity, thermal and operational constraints, security of supply, national initiatives and the need for an improve quality of supply increase the interest in studying, analyzing and developing power networks.
Therefore, the aims of the proposed Center of Research Excellence in Renewable Energy and Power Systems (CREPS) are to provide consultation and solutions to utilities, companies and governmental bodies in the field of renewable energy and electrical power systems as well as the necessary training for technicians, engineers and researchers. CREPS also aims to create local, national and international scientific collaborations to acquire funded grants and seek collaboration in scientific publications.