First Solar secures 20-year PPA for 52 MW project in Jordan

First Solar and its affiliated Shams Ma’an Power Generation consortium have landed a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) for a planned 52.5 MWAC solar power plant in Jordan.

The deal, announced on Wednesday, was signed with the National Electric Power Company (NEPCO), the country’s regulatory authority for power generation and distribution.

Shams Ma’an Power Generation PSC — which counts First Solar’s German subsidiary, First Solar GmbH, as a shareholder — was established to pursue solar energy opportunities in the country.

The Arizona-based First Solar will supply its advanced thin film PV modules as well as provide engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) and operations and maintenance (O&M) services for the project.

"The Shams Ma’an solar power plant represents the future of Jordan’s energy independence,” said Shams Ma’an CEO Hanna Zaghloul. “By bringing together industry leading capabilities, international financing and advanced thin film technology that is ideally suited to local conditions, we will establish a regional benchmark for the independent production of power.”

The power plant — which First Solar said would be the largest facility of its kind in the country, representing 1 percent of the country’s overall generation capacity — will supply 160 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year, sufficient to power over 35,000 average homes in the country.

The project, which is part of the ambitious Ma’an Development Area (MDA) initiative in southern Jordan, will generate an estimated 500 jobs during its construction. Additionally, the plant will also help the country reduce its carbon footprint by displacing approximately 90,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year

First Solar recently set a new world record for cadmium-telluride (CdTe) PV solar cell conversion efficiency, which was certified at the Newport Corporation’s Technology and Applications Center (TAC) PV Lab and confirmed by the U.S. Department of Energy’sNational Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).