Trina Solar wins solar power contract in Jordan for 10-MW photovoltaic plant

Trina Solar Limited has signed a contract with Shamsuna Power Company for the development of a 10-megawatt (MW) solar farm, Shamsuna Solar Project, in Aqaba, Jordan.

Per the agreement, the company will initially provide design and construction support for the project. Upon completion, Trina Solar will also operate and maintain the solar farm under a five-year service contract, which has the option to be extended for another five years on mutual agreement. Going forward, signing the long-term service agreement will ensure steady cash inflow.

40,320 units of Trina Solar-made 250 Watt-peak (Wp) TSM-PC05A modules will be installed in the Aqaba Special Economic Zone, southeast of Aqaba-based solar project. Construction of the project is planned to start in Dec 2014, and is expected to be grid connected and completed in second-quarter 2015.

Upon completion, the power farm will be able to generate 19 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity annually and will become the biggest solar facility in Aqaba. The solar farm will also reduce carbon emission by around 11,500 tons per year.

International Finance Corporation and a small consortium of lenders will finance the project. Foursan Capital Partners and Shamasuna Power will hold an 85% stake and 15%, respectively. Under a 20-year power purchase agreement, output from the solar farm will be sold to the Jordanian power generation and distribution authority National Electric Power Company (NEPCO).

Trina Solar has some experience of working on the Jordanian soil. In Feb 2014, the company had inked an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) agreement with an Amman, Jordan-based food storage and logistics company Fresh Fruits Company for a 2-MW rooftop solar power plant.

The government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is proactively expanding the solar power facilities in the country and aims to increase the generation mix from renewable resources to 10% by 2020. The government has already executed new incentives to support the construction of solar projects across the nation.

Many peers of Trina Solar, including the Canadian solar-cell manufacturer Canadian Solar Inc. and U.S.-based First Solar, Inc. are simultaneously expanding their respective operations in Jordan.

In Sep 2014, Canadian Solar obtained a contract to deliver 1.5 MW of photovoltaic (PV) modules to Kawar Energy. Kawar Energy will utilize the solar modules in a rooftop solar power project located at a university in Amman.

In another transaction, in Aug 2014, First Solar stated that it will construct, operate and maintain Shams Ma’an Power Plant, a 52.5-MW solar farm, in Jordan.

In addition, Trina Solar’s Chinese competitor, Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. Ltd. (YGE – Snapshot Report), is also very actively pursuing solar projects in Jordan.

The solar product manufacturers’ present focus on expanding operations in the Middle East is appreciable. Apart from Jordan, several firms are unlocking opportunities in other countries in the region, including Saudi Arabia, Israel and Turkey. These initiatives will reduce their dependence on the U.S. and Europe for contracts besides expanding revenue stream.