Jordan group details new 100MW PV project

A consortium of local enterprises, government, and international partners is planning a new PV power plant in Jordan’s southern region, targeting initial capacity of 100MW and full production by 2012. Project officials tell PV World about key technical and planning details that weren’t in the press release.

 

by James Montgomery, news editor, Photovoltaics World

May 19, 2009 – A consortium of local enterprises, government, and international partners is planning a new PV power plant in Jordan’s southern region, targeting initial capacity of 100MW and full production by 2012. Project officials tell PV World about key technical and planning details that weren’t in the press release.

Spearheading his new project, dubbed Shams Ma’an, is a consortium led by Kawar Energy encompassing unspecified “solar ventures” and the “1st International for Investment and Trade Company.” Ma’an Development Company (MDC), established by the government in partnership with the Jordan Industrial Estate Corporation and Al-Hussein Bin Talal University, will contribute the land in southern Jordan for the project.

Exactly what kind of PV technology will be used, whether silicon or thin-film (e.g., CIGS or CdTe), or even concentrated PV (CPV), is still undetermined. The proposed PV plant could house anywhere from 360,000-1,000,000 PV panels in its first phase “depending on the technology used,” the group suggested in the press release.

Officials representing the project — notably Hanna Zaghloul, CEO of Kawar Energy — explained in an e-mail exchange with PV World that the consortium will cooperate with the National Energy Research Center (NERC) to evaluate various factors, including heat, dust, and day/night temperature differences, in determining efficiency levels and ultimately selecting the appropriate PV technology for the area. Several suppliers will be invited to participate in a pilot evaluation “to prove their technologies at the southern desert in Jordan,” including First Solar, Suntech, LDK, and others, he said. Technology selection — hinging on “mainly efficiency and cost return analysis” — will be made around September of 2010, he said, with construction starting “at the beginning of 2011.” The project will look at having manufacturing directly on-site (either PV tech or modules), but it will not be a “prerequisite,” he added.

Zaghloul also emphasized that this brand-new project is unrelated to last December’s proposed gigawatt-scale PV partnership between a diversified Jordanian group and Amelio Solar. That project, which aims to include a 200MW thin-film CIGS photovoltaic module factory to source Amelio’s modules, is planning for a 22MW line to be ready in 2009, and reaching total power generation of 1GW by 2017.

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