Jordan southern region’s wind energy potential promising

Selected locations in the south have the potential to produce 400 megawatts (MW) of wind energy, according to a study by the energy ministry.

The sites are concentrated in Wadi Araba, Maan and Tafileh Governorate, where various wind farm projects are being considered, ministry spokesperson Mahmoud Eiss told The Jordan Times.

One of the highest wind speeds registered in the country, 6.7 metres per second, is in Fujeij, some 200 kilometres south of the capital, the site of a planned 80-90 megawatt wind farm.

Sixteen international and local energy companies have previously expressed interest in constructing the Fujeij wind turbines plant, to be established on a build-operate-own basis at an estimated cost of $150 million. The wind power plant will be expandable to 200MW, according to the ministry.

Offers for the Fujeij plant are to be submitted by December 19, with the winning bid scheduled to be announced in February 2011. Meanwhile, the ministry is in ongoing negotiations with Greek firm Terna Energy SA for the construction of a 40 MW wind farm in Kamsheh near Jerash.

The deal has been held up over electricity tariff pricing. According to ministry officials, if an agreement is reached by the end of the year, the plant could be up and running by 2013.