Baynouna Solar Energy Company, a joint venture between Abu Dhabi’s clean energy company Masdar and Finnish investment and asset management group Taaleri, has started operating Jordan’s largest clean energy project with a total capacity of 200 megawatts.
Developed through a power purchase agreement between Masdar and National Electric Power Company, Jordan’s state electricity provider, the Baynouna Solar Park produces over 560 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of power annually, enough to power 160,000 homes.
The plant also displaces 360,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, equivalent to taking nearly 80,000 cars off the road, Masdar said on Saturday.
“In partnership with the Jordanian government, the Baynouna Solar Park will contribute to Jordan’s climate targets, provide access to clean energy, create jobs and ensure economic growth,” said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Cop28 President-designate and chairman of Masdar.
“Along with our other project here – the Tafila Wind Farm – Masdar is already helping Jordan to produce 29 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources and will support its goal of increasing that to 50 per cent by the end of the decade.”
Jordan, which imports more than 94 per cent of its energy needs, is boosting its renewable energy capacity.
In 2015, Masdar delivered the Tafila Wind Farm, the first commercial utility-scale wind power project in the Middle East.
“Ambitious, transformative partnerships like these are precisely what we need if we are to deliver on the promise of the Paris Agreement and continue to ensure that we are holding back emissions, not progress,” Dr Sultan said.
He added the Cop28 to be held in Dubai this year will focus on moving from goals to implementation, “with a clear focus on demonstrable action on mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage, and finance, as we aim to keep the objective of limiting global warming to 1.5°C alive.”
Financial institutions including the International Finance Corporation, the Opec Fund for International Development, the KfW Group’s DEG, and the Japan International Cooperation Agency supported the project.
Jordan is “focused on developing local energy sources to achieve energy security, enhance self-reliance and limit the effects of climate change,” said Saleh Al Kharabsheh, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources.
Masdar is active in more than 40 countries and has invested or committed to invest in projects worth more than $30 billion.
The company aims to grow its capacity to at least 100 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030.
Last year, Masdar also signed a preliminary agreement with the Jordanian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources to explore the development of a further 2 gigawatts of renewable energy projects in the country.