By JT – Dec 17,2015

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Thursday inaugurated the Tafileh Wind Project, considered the first such renewablel energy project at the domestic and regional levels.

With a capacity of 117-megawatt, the wind farm, implemented in accordance with the Royal vision aimed at diversifying the sources of energy and boosting the Kingdom’s reliance on renewable and alternative sources, is to produce around 400 gigawatt-hours of electricity annually at a total cost of $287 million.

The King unveiled the curtain on a plaque commemorating the opening of the project, which represents a model of the public-private sector partnership and is expected to lure further investments in the field of renewable energy, according to a Royal Court statement.

At the launch ceremony, attended by HRH Prince Talal, the King’s special adviser, and by Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour, the King also launched the initial stage, signaling the flow of an electric current to the general electric network by switching on the main ignition key.

Touring the project’s different facilities, the King was briefed on the process used to convert wind power to electric energy, to increase renewable energy’s share in the energy mix to 10 per cent by 2020, in conformity with the national strategy on energy.

King Abdullah was briefed by Jordan Wind Project Company (JWPC) Chairman Samer Judeh on the turbines used to generate electricity with wind power, at a 25 per cent cost lower than that of thermal power, to save the Treasury around JD35 million annually.

JWPC, a co-development comprising InfraMed, Masdar and EP Global Energy, laid the corner stone for the project in April 2014 and completed its construction phase in August 2015. Tafileh, around 160km south of Amman, was selected due to favourable wind speed and direction, the company has said.

According to Judeh, the project represents the first step towards finding effective solutions for the energy sector and meeting its increasing needs.

Energy Minister Ibrahim Saif said the project laid the grounds for a new stage of wind power utilisation, placing Jordan on the world map in this field.

He also highlighted the positive economic and social impact of the project, noting that it will provide job opportunities in different parts of the Kingdom.

In an interview with the Jordan News Agency, Petra, UAE Minister of State Sultan Jaber, who is also Masdar’s chairman, congratulated Jordan on the project, stressing its importance as a booster of the Kingdom’s energy security.
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