Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) Project in the Ma'an Development Area
Ma'an Devleopment Company (MDC), the official developer for the Ma'an Development Area (MDA), recently announced that regional solar solutions giant Millennium Energy Industries (MEI) has signed a mutual cooperation agreement with US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), granting MEI the sum of $738,000 to support a feasibility study for a 100 MW concentrated solar power (CSP) project that will be implemented in the Ma’an industrial estate in partnership with U.S. technology provider eSolar, Inc.
The agreement, which entails a research grant with a value of US $738,000, was signed by Millennium's Chairman of the Board Anas Remawi and Tarana Bustani, who supervises the USTDA program's activities in the Kingdom. The signing was also attended by MDC's CEO Ahmad Turk.
Mr. Anas Rimawi, chairman of MEI and Managing Partner of Catalyst Private Equity (the majority owner of MEI), and Ms. Taraneh Bastani, USTDA (Jordan) Country Manager signed the agreement in the presence of Mr. Mohammed Turk, CEO of the Ma’an Development Company.
MDC, owned by the King Abdullah Fund for Development, have made solar energy a priority in their development plans recognizing the high solar resource that Ma’an area offers, and solar energy’s promise to support the country’s growing energy needs that are being fulfilled by imported fuels.
Turk emphasized that this agreement comes as part of MDC's commitment to see the objectives of MDA to completion, at the top of which is furthering research into sustainable energy sources. "One of our primary objectives is to lessen our dependence on imported fossil fuels, and the high levels of solar emissions in Ma'an make it an ideal hotspot for such research."
The feasibility study that will be awarded to a U.S. contractor will assess the techno-economic aspects of the eSolar modular and scalable concentrating solar thermal power plants, and the best strategy to implement a 100MW in partnership with the government of Jordan and other regional and international private and public sector organizations. “We believe that eSolar has the lowest price point in CSP today, and is providing a logical and efficient technology that has been proven,” said Rimawi, citing the 5MW pilot project inaugurated by eSolar in Lancaster, California on August 5th, 2009 and other agreements that eSolar signed in the US with NRG Energy and in India with the ACME group for a combined total project pipeline of 1500MW. The feasibility study will be based on eSolar’s standard 46 MW design package.
Earlier this year, MEI and MDC have implemented various joint activities to promote solar energy development activities at the vocational training centers, Al Hussein University, and the industrial estate where several projects have been implemented successfully.
With this feasibility study, MEI and its partners aim to catalyze the development of a CSP project that maximize its contribution to the local economy while establishing a spring board for other CSP projects in the region.
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