As Jordan looks to rapidly expand the renewable energy infrastructure, it is also taking measures to ensure that its transmission grid is ready for the boom in renewable energy generation.
The French and Jordanian Prime Ministers recently signed an agreement which would see the French development agency provide a loan worth $44 million to the National Electric Power Company (NEPCO) in Jordan. The loan would be used for the Green Corridor project aimed at setting up transmission lines and upgrading existing ones to support the development of renewable energy projects.
The European Investment Bank also pledged debt worth $97 million for the same project. EIB will finance two new transmission lines (400 kV/150 km and 132 kV/51 km), upgrading three existing lines (132 kV/100 km) and funding the construction of one new 400/132 kV, 1200 MVA electricity substation.
Earlier this year, China-based renewable energy company Hanergy announced a grant of $310 million to Jordan for setting up a power transmission network dedicated to renewable energy projects in the Middle-east country.
Expanding the transmission capacity of the nation’s power grid is essential to the Jordanian government’s plans to increase the renewable energy capacity base. The current transmission capacity in the country stands at 3,200 MW. Jordan has already announced a plan to add 1,800 MW of renewable energy capacity — 1,200 MW wind energy and 600 MW solar power by 2020.
Jordan has also received finance support in the development of solar power projects. Earlier this year, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, part of the World Bank Group, announced investment guarantees to cover for political and other risks to four solar PV power projects in Jordan with total generation capacity of 50 MW.
Jordan has so far allocated 400 MW of solar power projects through auctions this year. In February, 12 solar PV projects with total capacity of 200 MW were auctioned at feed-in tariffs between $0.148 and $0.169 per kWh. National as well as foreign developers participated in the February auction.
Results of the second auction were announced in May, with four solar PV projects of 50 MW capacity each allocated to as many foreign developers. These projects were allocated at tariffs between $0.613 to $0.797 per kWh.