SoftBank Group Corp. Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son speaks during a SoftBank World presentation at a hotel in Tokyo. SoftBank Group Corp. /CBCNews

Japan’s Softbank Group has announced a £141 billion investment to create the world’s biggest solar power project in Saudi Arabia.

The planned project is expected to have the capacity to produce up to 200 gigawatts (GW) of energy by 2030.

Bloomberg says this “would be about 100 times larger than the next biggest proposed development and a third more than what the global photovoltaic industry supplied worldwide last year”.

The project would generate enough power for 150 million homes, and will play a key role in the ‘Saudi 2030’ vision presented by the Crown Prince last year as a blueprint for the radical economic diversification he hopes will help wean the nation off crude.

The project would cover land equal to a million football pitches and could mark a change in the world’s environmental management.

Under the terms of the arrangement, solar-power plants would supply enough electricity not only for Saudi Arabia but much of the Middle East.

However, several analysts cautioned the agreement might not be fully realized, both because of its ambitious scale and because it is at present a nonbinding memorandum of understanding.

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