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1,800 megawatts of renewable energy projects to be connected to grid by end of 2018

By Mohammad Ghazal - Sep 17,2014 - Last updated at Sep 17,2014

AMMAN — Several renewable energy projects with a total capacity of 1,800 megawatts (MW) will be connected to the national power grid by the end of 2018, Energy Minister Mohammad Hamed said Wednesday.

Speaking at the opening of the Powering Middle East Summit, held in partnership with the Arab Renewable Energy Commission (AREC) and Estratevents, the minister noted that the Kingdom has already signed 12 power purchase agreements to develop solar projects — mainly in the southern Maan Governorate — with a total capacity of 200MW.

He added that the projects are currently in the financial closure stage. 

The Tafileh wind project, which will generate 117MW, is under construction while another 10MW solar project in Mafraq is also in development, Hamed added at the opening of the two-day event, where discussions focused on the potential gains and challenges in the field of renewable energy.

“By the end of this month, the ministry is going to receive the wind project proposals of round one with a total capacity of about 250MW; and by the end of this year the solar projects of the second round, with a total capacity of 200MW, will be submitted,” he noted.

Underscoring that these projects will significantly help reduce the losses of the National Electric Power Company (NEPCO), the minister said NEPCO is expected to have about 500MW of wind and solar projects operational by 2015.

“These projects, with a capacity of 1,500-2,000 gigawatts, will produce and inject electricity into the grid, and employ about 2,000-3,000 people in remote and less developed areas,” he said.

According to the minister, NEPCO losses are expected to reach JD1.350 billion by the end of this year.

Hamed added that the country’s energy strategy targets a 10 per cent renewable energy input into the energy mix by 2020.

AREC Secretary General Saleh Rusheidat stressed the importance of the Powering Middle East Summit in attracting investors to Jordan, which imports 97 per cent of its energy needs.

He added that the event provides a platform for the exchange of expertise and building partnerships.

Several companies in the renewable energy sector are taking part in the meeting, as well as experts and representatives from research centres in Arab and foreign countries.

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