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First Solar's Jordan solar project set to go ahead

Power purchase agreement in place for planned 52.5 MW plant.

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A First Solar solar plant is set to be built in Jordan.
A First Solar solar plant is set to be built in Jordan.

First Solar and Shams Ma'an Power Generation have signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) for a planned 52.5 megawatt solar power plant in Jordan.

The PPA was signed with the National Electric Power Company (NEPCO), the country's regulatory authority for power generation and distribution, and is valid for 20 years.

"The Shams Ma'an solar power plant represents the future of Jordan's energy independence," said Hanna Zaghloul, chief executive officer of Shams Ma'an.

“By bringing together industry-leading capabilities, international financing and advanced thin film technology that is ideally suited to local conditions, we will establish a regional benchmark for the independent production of power.

"There is no doubt that adding PV capacity to the country's energy generation portfolio offers Jordan and its people a winning value proposition."

Shams Ma'an Power Generation PSC, which counts First Solar as a shareholder, was established to pursue solar energy investment opportunities in the country. First Solar brings its thin film photovoltaic (PV) solar modules, its EPC skills and plant operations & maintenance services.

The solar plant will be the largest so far announced in Jordan and will supply 160 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year, sufficient to power more than 35,000 average homes in the country.

The project, which is part of the Ma'an Development Area (MDA) initiative in southern Jordan, will generate an estimated 500 jobs during its construction. Additionally, the plant will also help the country reduce its carbon footprint by displacing approximately 90,000 metric tons of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) per year.

"This agreement marks a significant step towards fulfilling Jordan's energy security goals. By efficiently harnessing the country's most abundant energy resource, Shams Ma'an will help power sustainable growth and development with clean, affordable and reliable solar electricity," said Ahmed S. Nada, Vice President of Business Development for First Solar in the Middle East.

Jordan is making a push to boost its energy independence. In addition to the Ma’an solar initiative, it is in talks with a Russian company to develop two nuclear power stations.

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