Jordan’s King Abdullah II Inaugurates First Utility-Scale Wind Farm in the Middle East

The 117 MW Tafila Wind Farm, a Masdar Joint Project, puts Jordan on the Renewable Energy Map

Tafila, Jordan, 17 December, 2015 – His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn al-Hussein of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan inaugurated today the first utility-scale wind power project in the Middle East with high-level officials from across the Middle East in attendance, including HRH Prince Talal bin Muhammad; HE Dr Abdullah Ensour, the Prime Minister of Jordan; HE Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Masdar; HE Dr Ibrahim Saif, Jordan Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources; HE Bilal Rabie Bilal Al Bodour, UAE Ambassador to Jordan; and Dr Ahmad Belhoul, CEO of Masdar. Built by the Jordan Wind Project Company (JWPC), the wind farm is a joint project of Masdar, InfraMed and EP Global Energy.

“The vision of Masdar is to drive innovation and push the boundaries in the advancement of renewables – to improve existing methods or find new solutions that will be more effective, more efficient and more affordable. If the watchword in our industry leading up to COP21 in Paris was ‘commitment’, with the historic climate accord now reached, the next phase will be all about ‘action’. This project is a concrete example of action - providing energy security while offsetting carbon emissions and diesel use,” said Dr Ahmad Belhoul, CEO of Masdar.

“One of the most important issues for our region is securing a sustainable energy future. Finding solutions is critical to our continued economic and social development. This is a historic day for the Middle East as the Tafila Wind farm shows the region is committed to expanding access to new forms of clean energy. Masdar is proud to have been a key partner in the Tafila project,” he added.

Jordan has long relied on fuel imports, especially diesel, to electrify the country’s homes and businesses as the nation lacks sufficient domestic energy supplies. The Tafila Wind Farm puts Jordan firmly on the renewable energy map and will help diversify the country’s energy portfolio. It will account for almost ten per cent of Jordan’s renewable energy target for 2020. The 117 megawatt installation, which will provide three per cent of the Kingdom’s total energy needs, will create enough electricity to power 83,000 homes while reducing the country’s emissions by 235,000 tonnes annually.

With Jordan’s domestic electricity demands estimated to grow five per cent annually through 2020, the Tafila Wind Farm is critical to the production of new sources of energy to prevent future shortfalls while doing displacing future greenhouse gas emissions. Located 183 kilometres south of Jordan’s capital, Amman, the farm is the first wind power project to be developed under Jordan’s 2010 Renewable and Energy Efficiency Law. Its 38 turbines have been fully commissioned and are projected to generate 400 gigawatt-hours of electricity annually.

“Jordan’s commitment to renewable energy proves that the Middle East is poised for a new era in investment and economic development,” added Belhoul. “Masdar’s investments in new infrastructure projects like Tafila, as well as our global portfolio of wind projects including the London Array and Dudgeon, will benefit both companies and citizens throughout the region and around the world. Masdar is always evaluating new projects of this scope and scale to help the economies of the Middle East become more diversified and resilient.”

With the World Energy Council projecting energy consumption in the Middle East and North Africa region to soar by as much as 114 per cent by 2050, it is incumbent upon countries to deploy new sources of energy in order to meet future demand. Renewables can complement current and future hydrocarbon supplies while also reducing nations’ exposure to energy price volatility.

In striving to reach its renewable energy target, Jordan implemented a feed-in tariff to provide investors market stability, price certainty and attract businesses that are considering projects in the Middle East region. A feed-in tariff guarantees a universal tariff for renewable power producers and encourages investors and contractors to commit to long-term power generation contracts. Often viewed by energy analysts as the quickest path towards accelerating renewable energy deployment, the feed-in tariff in Jordan is the first such scheme within the Middle East and North Africa region. The Jordanian government continues to highlight the importance of these projects not only in terms of providing jobs, but also for accelerating progress on its national development plan, Jordan Vision 2025, which was announced last May.

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About Masdar

Masdar is Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company which works to advance the development, commercialisation and deployment of clean energy technologies and solutions. The company serves as a link between today’s fossil fuel economy and the energy economy of the future. Wholly owned by the Mubadala Development Company PJSC, the strategic investment company of the Government of Abu Dhabi, Masdar is dedicated to the United Arab Emirates’ long-term vision for the future of energy and water. For more information please visit: www.masdar.ae or connect with Masdar at facebook.com/masdar.ae and twitter.com/masdar. For further media enquiries, please contact press@masdar.ae