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Jordan signs 13 deals for solar and wind power plants

The Jordanian government has signed 13 agreements to build wind and solar energy plants with a total capacity of 317 megawatts, the Jordan Times said01 Jul 2015

The projects will improve the country's access to renewable energy and are expected to be operational in 2018, energy minister Ibrahim Saif said, according to the Jordan Times.

The projects are in line with Jordan's national energy strategy, which aims to increase reliance on renewable power sources. Renewably energy projects are expected the generate 1,500 megawatts of electricity by 2020, energy ministry spokesman Haidar Gammaz told the Jordan Times.

By 2018, electricity generated by renewable energy projects will reach about 1,000 megawatts, or 20% of overall generated capacity, Gammaz said.

The energy ministry is currently assessing bids for further projects with a capacity of 200 megawatts and work is underway to expand the grid capacity to handle power from new plants, Gammaz told the Jordan Times.

Dubai-based projects expert Simon Harvey of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind said: "Jordan has made impressive progress in implementing its renewable energy strategy.  Those gains are underpinned by, and demonstrate the importance of, a supportive and considered regulatory framework and defined project pipeline.  Funding assistance from the GCC countries has also been important."

"Jordan is cleverly taking advantage of its access to renewable energy and at the same time increasing its energy, and perhaps by implication, domestic security," Harvey said.

Jordan currently imports 96% of its energy needs annually, according to World Bank figures.

Jordan launched the world's largest internal combustion power plant in April. The multi-fuel plant, called IPP3, has production capacity of 573MW and is already mentioned in the Guinness Book of Records, according to Jordan news agency Petra.

IPP3 is a joint venture between Korea Electric Power, Mitsui and Finish power company Wärtsilä, in cooperation with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, the National Electric Power Company and the Jordan Water Authority, Petra said.