Masdar launches Jordan's largest solar power plant in Baynouna

Baynouna Solar Company, a joint venture between Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), a global leader in renewable energy, and Finnish investment and asset management group Taleri, has officially announced the official inauguration of the 200 MW Baynunah Solar Power Plant, the largest project of its kind in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by His Excellency Dr. Bisher Khasawneh, Prime Minister of Jordan, His Excellency Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, President-designate of COP28 and Chairman of Masdar, His Excellency Dr. Saleh Al-Kharabsheh, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources of Jordan, His Excellency Sheikh Khalifa bin Mohammed bin Khalid Al Nahyan, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and a number of senior officials from the Government of Jordan and Masdar.

His Excellency Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber said: "In line with the directives of the wise leadership to implement projects that promote sustainable development, deploy clean energy solutions on a large scale and support effective climate action, we are pleased to launch the Baynouna joint plant with the Jordanian government to consolidate the strong brotherly relationship between the United Arab Emirates and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, so that this project contributes to supporting the achievement of the Kingdom's goals related to climate and clean energy, in addition to providing new job opportunities and supporting the economic development process."

"Through the Baynouna Solar Power Plant and the Tafila Wind Power Project, Masdar is supporting Jordan's efforts and targets to provide 29 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources, increasing this to 50 per cent by the end of this decade. These qualitative and ambitious partnerships are a model of solutions that promote progress towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and support economic growth while reducing emissions."

Al Jaber pointed out that the UAE, as part of its firm commitment to supporting climate action, will focus during COP28 on moving from the stage of goals to achieving them, achieving tangible results in the topics of mitigation, adaptation, financing, loss and damage, and continuing to work to avoid global warming exceeding the threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

For his part, His Excellency Dr. Saleh Al-Kharabsheh, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources of Jordan, said: "The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, embodying the directives of His Majesty King Abdullah II to make Jordan a regional center for green development, and believing in the importance of developing local energy sources - especially sustainable ones - to achieve security of energy supply, enhance self-reliance and reduce the effects of climate change, is constantly seeking to develop its plans and strategies to suit global developments in the field of energy transition. Projects that will make Jordan a regional hub for the export of green energy, whether in the form of electricity from renewable energy sources or in the form of green hydrogen, and this comes in line with the implementation of the economic modernization vision recently launched by the government."

He added that the Ministry aspires to exceed the goals set out in the energy sector strategy for the years (2020-2030) by raising the contribution of renewable energy in electricity generation to reach 50% by (2030), supporting projects of transformation towards electric transport and green hydrogen production, taking into account strengthening the electrical network and enhancing its stability through the transition towards smart grids, establishing projects to store electrical energy, implementing and expanding electrical interconnection projects with neighboring countries and the world, and that it is time to maximize the benefit of all tools. and technologies available to overcome the challenges posed by renewable energy."

"We believe that renewable energy has become the main player that draws the map of the future of energy not only in Jordan but in the whole world, if we look at the world today, we see that renewable energy, especially solar and wind energy, is the fastest growing and widespread renewable energy source, supported by its low prices and the development of its technologies and versatility, and we in Jordan seek to keep pace with these developments and adopt them, which contributes to the desired global goal in combating climate change and reducing carbon emissions to zero," said Minister Kharabsheh.

Developed through a power purchase agreement between Masdar and Jordan's National Electric Power Company, the Baynunah solar power plant produces more than 560 GWh of energy annually, enough to power 160,360 homes. The plant also avoids emitting 80,<> tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, equivalent to removing nearly <>,<> cars from the road.

His Excellency Sheikh Khalifa bin Mohammed bin Khalid Al Nahyan, UAE Ambassador to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, said: "The inauguration of the Baynouna Solar Power Plant represents a significant achievement that embodies the strong brotherly relations between the UAE and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, as the country is committed to helping brotherly countries in the region achieve their goals in the field of clean energy, and we are fully prepared to share our experiences with the government and people of Jordan to contribute to advancing sustainable economic development in the Kingdom."

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, said: "Masdar is proud to launch this project, which is one of the fruits of our long-standing partnership with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. We thank our partners in the Government of Jordan, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources and the National Electric Power Company of Jordan as well as the financial institutions that contributed to the completion of this project, and we are ready to actively contribute to supporting Jordan's energy transition, and we look forward to expanding our business in the Kingdom by developing more clean energy projects that will drive the Kingdom's economic development efforts."

Financial institutions that have contributed to Baynouna include the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the OPEC Fund for International Development (OPEC), the German Development Bank (KfW Development Bank), and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Peter Ramsey, CEO of Taleri Group, said: "We are delighted to launch Jordan's largest solar power plant, as this landmark project reflects the importance of the partnership between Masdar and Taleri, two leading renewable energy companies. We are proud to collaborate with our partners and investors to move towards global climate change targets."

In 2015, Masdar completed Jordan's 117 MW Tafila Wind Power Project, the Middle East's first utility-scale wind power project. In November, Masdar signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Jordan's Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources to explore opportunities to develop renewable energy projects with a total capacity of 2 GW.

The energy transition is one of the key priorities for the UAE, which is preparing to host COP28 in November and December. The conference is the largest gathering of decision-makers and experts on climate and sustainability issues, attracting more than 70,<> officials and experts from the public and private sectors, and will take place at Expo City in Dubai.