Jordan to begin building 8 solar power plants

Eight local and foreign companies were granted licences Sunday to start procedures to build eight solar power plants in the Kingdom, according to the Energy and Minerals Regulatory Commission (EMRC).

The commission gave a 20-year licence to each of the eight companies to build solar plants in the south of the Kingdom, EMRC Chief Commissioner Farouq Hiari said in an e-mail sent to The Jordan Times Sunday.

The power plants have a total capacity of 150 megawatts, he said, and will be built at a total cost of $300 million.

“The projects are very important and are part of Jordan’s efforts to diversify [energy] resources and rely on local resources,” Hiari noted.

The plants will help reduce reliance on heavy fuel and diesel for power generation, he said, adding that Jordan is keen on boosting investments in the field of renewable energy.

Jordan, which imports 97 per cent of its energy needs annually, is implementing a strategy to increase the contribution of renewable energy to the overall energy mix to 10 per cent by 2020.

Meanwhile, Energy Minister Mohammad Hamed recently told The Jordan Times that the government is awaiting approval on grants from the Gulf Cooperation Council to expand the capacity of the national electricity grid.

Jordan recently cancelled rounds for submitting bids to build renewable energy projects, saying the door will reopen for such projects when the grid’s capacity is expanded.