Independent solar power producer Scatec Solar has signed a 20 year power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Jordanian national electric power company Nepco for a 10 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) plant to be built close to the city of Ma’an in southern Jordan. Scatec Solar’s first solar project in the region was selected under the first round of Jordan’s renewable energy program aimed at reducing the country’s dependence on imported gas supplies and expensive heavy fuel generation.

The PV plant will be located 200 km south of Amman, close to the city of Ma’an on land 1,350 meters above sea level, featuring some of the best solar irradiation conditions in the world. The plant will be fitted with crystalline PV modules on a single axis tracker system.

The PPA will provide renewable electricity well below the cost of the energy currently generated from the country’s heavy fuel oil generation capacity. The plan is to have the plant operational by mid- 2015.

“We are very happy to be able to realize our first utility scale PV project in Jordan,” Raymond Carlsen, CEO of Scatec Solar said. “At the end of last year, we grid connected the first utility scale solar park in southern Africa and the 75 MW Kalkbult solar park is currently the largest in Africa. Our objective has been to bring the experience gained in South Africa to other regions in the world with favourable solar conditions.”

The investment needed to realize and grid-connect the 10 MW solar plant is estimated at US$28 million, and will be financed through a mix of equity and bank loans.

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