The Tafila Wind Farm
, the first and largest utility scale wind power plant in Jordan and the Middle East, was recently inaugurated by King Abdullah II.
The 117-megawatt wind farm is directly connected to the national grid and will produce 400 gigawatt-hours of electricity annually, said a statement.
The project is in line with a royal vision to diversify energy sources
and promote greater reliance on renewable energy.
The Tafila Wind Farm was developed in response to the 2010 renewable energy law, calling for around 10 per cent of electricity to come from renewable sources by 2020.
Jordan imports about 96 per cent of its energy needs at a cost equivalent to 20 per cent of the country's GDP.
King Abdullah II announced the official launch of the wind farm before taking a tour of the plant, which is owned and managed by the Jordan Wind Project Company.
At JD85 ($119) per megawatt-hour, the wind turbines will produce electricity at less than half the cost of generation for conventional power sources.
The project will save the government around $50 million every year, and will supply approximately 3.5 per cent of the country's annual electricity consumption.
Samer Judeh, chairman of the Jordan Wind Project Company, said the farm's 38 massive turbines draped with the proud Jordanian flag would not be here had it not been for His Majesty King Abdullah's vision and great leadership.
"The Tafila Wind Farm will contribute towards achieving energy security. The project is a quantum leap not only forJordan but the Arab world as a whole, as it is the first to implement an effective solution for Jordan's energy challenges through a partnership between the public and private sectors," he said.
"We believe the project will stimulate the investment climate for similar renewable energy projects in Jordan to take place and will make Jordan a new and important destination for renewable energy investments in the region," he added.
Jordan Wind Project Company (JWPC) is an international coalition that includes, InfraMed Infrastructure Fund (France), Masdar (UAE) and EP Global Energy (Cyprus).
Dr Ibrahim Saif, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, said that Jordan has been emphasising the importance of renewable energy sources
in recent years. The government is implementing a number of studies and programs that improve and develop the use of alternative energy sources, in addition to efforts to create an attractive investment climate in the field of renewable energy.
The minister stated that the project will produce energy from carbon free resources, displacing 235,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
Meanwhile, the International Finance Corporation, and the European Investment Bank had arranged the financing of the project, while participants in the lender syndicate included the Dutch Development Bank, Europe Arab Bank, and Opec Fund for International Development, with the Export Credit Agency of Denmark providing a guarantee for a portion of the loans.