Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, has completed a key step in the development of the largest solar power plant in Jordan.
The Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA) for a 200-megawatt (MW) photovoltaic (PV) plant was signed today by Mohamed Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, and Abdul Fattah Daradkeh, Chief Executive Officer of National Electric Power Company, Jordan’s state electricity provider, at a ceremony in Amman attended by Dr Hani Al Mulqi, Prime Minister of Jordan, and Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Masdar.
Today’s announcement follows an agreement between Jordan’s energy ministry and Masdar on the development, ownership, operation and maintenance of the country’s largest solar power facility signed at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2016 in January.
The wholly owned Masdar subsidiary Baynouna Solar Energy Company (BSEC) has been set up to expedite the project.
"Today’s signing marks the forward progress of a significant investment in Jordan’s energy security in line with His Majesty King Abdullah II’s vision to diversify the country’s energy mix and to meet future domestic power demand growth through sustainable sources," said Dr Ibrahim Saif, Energy Minister of Jordan.
"The solar power plant will raise the international profile of Jordan as a key destination for utility-scale renewable energy projects, stimulate local job creation and knowledge transfer, and further incentivise the adoption of commercial clean energy in the Middle East and North Africa," Dr Saif added.
"Today’s agreement further strengthens the deep-rooted cooperation between the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, and builds on the success of the region’s first utility-scale wind farm that Masdar and its partners inaugurated in the Kingdom last year," said Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Masdar.
"Meeting the region’s growing demand for power will require a diverse range of energy sources, and this solar project reinforces the role of renewable energy as an efficient and cost effective contributor to the global energy mix."
"Since Masdar’s establishment a decade ago, its vision has been to advance the clean energy industry and to provide sustainable, innovative solutions to the world’s growing energy needs," Dr Al Jaber added.
"Today, that vision is being translated into concrete action through tangible projects in the Middle East and others around the world."
Jordan’s largest solar power plant will be linked to Al Muwaqqar substation located approximately 10 kilometres outside Amman. Once connected to the national grid, it will supply the annual power needs of around 110,000 homes and displace an estimated 360,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year.
Commenting on the Power Purchasing Agreement, Mohamed Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, said: "Today’s signing underscores the commercial viability of renewable energy and is another key milestone in the expansion of Masdar’s PV portfolio in the Middle East and North Africa and international markets. This flagship project will harness Masdar’s proven expertise and experience in utility-scale clean energy and pave the way towards future projects in the kingdom and elsewhere."
The agreement to develop a PV plant follows the inauguration of the 117MW Tafila wind farm in Jordan in December, the Middle East and North Africa’s first utility-scale wind project. Tafila was developed by Jordan Wind Project Company, a partnership between InfraMed (50 percent), Masdar (31 percent) and EP Global Energy (19 percent).
The solar power plant and Tafila will help Jordan reach its 2020 goal of producing 15 percent of its domestic electricity needs from renewable sources. Today, the kingdom imports around 96 percent of its energy at a cost equivalent to 20 percent of its national GDP.
Combined, the two projects will account for nearly 18 percent of the 1.8 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy Jordan plans to install by 2020.
Now in its tenth year of operations, Masdar has invested US$2.7 billion in the development of renewable energy and clean technologies in the MENA region and international markets, and today has 2.7GW of gross power generating capacity either deployed or under construction.
The signing was also witnessed by Dr Ibrahim Saif, Jordan’s Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources; Dr Omar Malhas, Finance Minister; Dr Mohammad Al Momani, Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communications and Jordan’s Government Spokesman; Fawaz Najib Irshaidat, Jordan’s Minister of State for Prime Ministerial Affairs; Ahmed Saeed Al Calily, Chief Executive Officer of Mubadala Development Company’s Energy Platform; and Engineer Moeen Sayegh, Director General of Jordan’s Department of Land and Survey.