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‘Projected solar plant in south to cover water sector’s energy needs’

By Hana Namrouqa - Jun 13,2015 - Last updated at Jun 13,2015

Source: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Policy for the Jordanian Water Sector

AMMAN — Studies are under way to establish a solar plant in the southern region to supply energy to the water sector, which consumes about 14 per cent of the Kingdom’s total power production, according to a government official.

The solar station will be constructed on a build-operate-transfer basis to generate 50 megawatts per hour, Water Ministry Secretary General Basem Tulfah said Saturday.

“The solar plant will be built in the south near the Disi Water Conveyance Project and the Green Corridor, to supply the Disi project with energy,” Tulfah told The Jordan Times.

The plant is expected to cost approximately JD80 million, he said, noting that the construction will be funded via soft loans and grants from international donor agencies.

Tulfah explained that the ministry selected the southern region to house the solar plant also because it requires a large space and because the southern region’s electric power grid can accommodate the generated power.

The solar plant is one of several projects announced under the ministry’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Policy for the Jordanian Water Sector, which the Cabinet approved late last week.

The policy, which is published on the ministry’s website, seeks to achieve a 15 per cent reduction in energy consumption of billed water by the year 2025, corresponding to a 0.46 kilogramme reduction of carbon dioxide emissions for the production of each billed cubic metre of water.

Tulfah noted that the pillars of the policy entail optimisation and rehabilitation of water infrastructure via replacement and/or repair of malfunctioning or damaged equipment, broken and/or leaking parts and pipes; and deployment of hydraulic modelling techniques to employ gravity in water distribution to consumers among other methods.

In addition, the policy entails the introduction of economically feasible and environment-friendly power generation systems based on renewable energy sources.

Such systems include the implementation of photovoltaic technology to supply the largest share of power to the water sector; the establishment of hydropower stations at dams and canals that have the potential of supplying power at an economic rate; and the utilisation of sludge from wastewater treatment as a biological power source to cover part of the energy needs of wastewater treatment facilities, Tulfah noted.

According to the 2013 Annual Report of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, power requirements in 2013 for water pumping alone amounted to about 14 per cent of the country’s total power production with a total amount of 1,424 gigawatt hours.

Given that the water sector is highly subsidised, the total energy bill paid by the Water Ministry in 2013 amounted to JD100 million, according to the policy.

 

Assuming that current operational patterns are sustained, real power costs for water pumping are estimated to amount to JD640 million by the year 2025, the policy said.

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