By Mohammad Ghazal – Dec 03,2016

AMMAN — Jordan on Saturday granted licences for solar and wind power plants, increasing the overall number of licences awarded to such projects to 20, Farouq Hiyari, the chief commissioner of the Energy and Minerals Regulatory Commission, said Saturday.

Jordan extended a licence to Green Watts Renewable Energy LLC for an 86 megawatt (MW) wind plant that will be located in Al Rajef in Maan Governorate, around 200km south of Amman, the official told The Jordan Times.

The licence for the $184 million project was given for 20 years.

Green Watts Renewable Energy LLC, which is a special purpose vehicle incorporated in Jordan for the sole purpose of developing, constructing and operating the project, is wholly owned by Alcazar Energy Partners, a Dubai-based independent developer and power producer active in the Middle East, Africa and Turkey.

The commission also granted a 20-year licence to Spain’s Fotowatio Renewable Ventures for a 50MW solar plant, Hiyari said.

The $95 million plant will be located some 80km north of Amman.

The commission also granted a licence for a 5MW solar plant to the Jordan Valley Marriott Resort and Spa.

Hiyari stressed the importance of renewable energy projects in reducing reliance on and consumption of fuel to generate electricity.

In Jordan, the annual daily average of solar irradiance ranges from 5-7 kilowatt hours per square metre, which is almost twice the ratio in Germany, which by mid-2015 generated 34 per cent of its electricity via renewable energy project.

Despite that, renewable energy projects in Jordan contribute 3 to 4 per cent to the national electricity grid.

The figure is scheduled to reach 10 per cent by 2020.

Meanwhile, wind speed in Jordan is around 10 metres per second in some areas in the country, which makes it a favourable place for wind farms.