By Andy Sambidge
Jordan Wind Project Co, in which Masdar holds 31% stake, says will meet energy needs of 150,000 Jordanians
The Middle East's first wind power project, in which the UAE's Masdar holds a 31 percent stake, will start to deliver electricity in the first quarter of 2015, it has been announced.
Jordan Wind Project Company, which is a co-development between InfraMed, Masdar and EP Global Energy, is behind the 117MW Tafila Wind Farm which will increase Jordan's total power capacity by three percent and will cost about $290m to build.
A statement said civil works have already begun, and the 38 wind turbines will be directly transported from the port of Aqaba to the project site over the coming months.
The first turbines will begin to produce electricity as from the first quarter of 2015, and the wind power plant will be fully operational by August 2015.
The wind power plant will then be connected directly to the National Electric Power Company grid and provide almost 400 GWh of electricity per year, enough to meet the energy needs of over 150,000 Jordanians.
The Al Tafilah project will also significantly contribute to the region's development by providing jobs to 150 people during construction and 30 during its operation, the statement added.
Samer Judeh, chairman of JWPC, said: "At 85 Jordanian Dinars per MWh, electricity is priced at less than half the cost of generation from conventional power. The price is fixed for 20 years, ensuring reliable and clean energy for the country.
"The Tafilah wind farm is a major step towards getting Jordan on the global renewable energy roadmap and will serve to demonstrate the region's potential for investments in renewable energy.
With Jordan's electricity demand expected to grow by an estimated 5 percent annually until 2020, the country is rapidly developing new sources of energy generation to avoid future shortfalls.
Tafila is the first wind-power project to be developed under Jordan's Renewable and Energy Efficiency Law passed in 2010.
The law calls for the country to obtain seven percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2015, rising to 10 percent by 2020.For all the latest energy and oil news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.