Jordan to expand national grid with $310m Chinese grant
Jordan cancelled plans to build renewable energy power plants over limited grid capacity last year. (Pixabay)
inShaA $310 million grant extended by China’s Hanergy firm to expand the national grid’s capacity will help open the door for more renewable energy projects, an official said on Sunday.
“The grant announced by the Chinese company during the World Economic Forum [at the Dead Sea] will help increase the grid’s capacity to absorb more power generated by renewable energy projects,” Energy Ministry Spokesperson Haidar Gammaz told The Jordan Times.
“Expanding the grid is a very important issue for Jordan’s plan to build more renewable energy plants and will help implement the country’s strategy,” he said.
The grid’s capacity stands at 3,200 megawatts (MW) at present and can accept another 500MW.
The grant will also be used to expand infrastructure, open new supply lines and enhance supporting power stations along the grid, Gammaz added.
Last year, the government cancelled plans to accept proposals to build five wind-run power plants with a total capacity of 400MW due to the grid’s inability to absorb additional loads.
Also last year, the government said it cancelled plans to accept proposals to build four renewable energy power plants with a capacity of 100MW each over limited grid capacity.
Jordan has one of the highest annual daily averages of solar irradiance in the world with an estimated 330 days of sunshine per year, while wind speeds in the country are as high as 7.5 metres per second and up to 11.5 metres per second in hilly areas.
The Kingdom, which imports about 97 per cent of its energy needs, is working on a series of renewable energy projects that will increase the contribution of local energy resources to the energy mix from the current 3 per cent to 40 per cent by 2020.
By Mohammad Ghazal
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