The Makkah solar street lighting project will save the state treasury SR 2.2 billion ($587 million) in 20 years, said Osama Al-Barr, mayor of Makkah.
"The cost of the 100 megawatt solar powered lighting project, which is estimated at SR 2.4 billion, will be paid in monthly installments of SR 10 million," Al-Barr said.
"We are the first municipality in the world to launch a solar project that will cater for the power needs of the entire municipality," the mayor added.
A consortium comprising Rolls Royce and General Electric, in addition to other Saudi companies and another consortium led by ACWA Power have been short-listed in the bidding process for the contract.
The first consortium's bid is priced at SR 2.98 billion for 25 years of operation, while the second consortium has proposed SR 1.29 billion to operate the project for 11 years, Al-Eqitsadiah reported.
The two consortiums were selected from a total of 20 companies that submitted their proposals to earn the contract earlier this year.
An official from the Makkah Municipality said in an earlier statement that the project would commence in four months and would require 12 months to be completed.
The first stage of the project will be a pilot scheme, covering three of the nine parts of the Crown Prince Plan 9, which covers a total area of around 4 3 million square meters. The project will be implemented throughout the city if the pilot scheme is successfully executed.
The project is currently open for prospective investor and developer bids, to provide the city with 30,000 to 40,000 light poles powered by solar energy.
Amin bin Abdulqader Naebalharam, deputy mayor for municipal investment development and chairman of the Solar Energy Committee, said the project will contribute in reducing costs for companies providing street lighting equipment, in addition to cables, fittings and other requirements, "especially in remote areas."