The 2 MW solar PV plant, the first of its kind in a refugee setting, will provide electrification that will transform the lives of 20,000 Syrian people living in the camp’s harsh environment. The project is due to be expanded to all 36,000 refugees currently residing in the camp by early next year, as the solar PV capacity is expected to be upgraded to 5 MW, announced UNHCR.
The project, which was funded by € 8.75 ($ 9.6 million) coming from the IKEA Foundation’s Brighter Lives for Refugees campaign, will allow the refugee agency to save about $ 1.5 million.
Located in the inhospitable parts of the desert in northern Jordan, the Azraq refugee camp opened its doors in April 2014. Since then, camp residents were living only with solar lanterns.
With the new PV plant installed, the lives of people will be significantly improved, as they will be able to cope with high temperatures using electric fans and refrigerators to store their food, as well as cold winter conditions. Moreover, it will help ease the current burden on the power supply.
The project also provided income opportunity and training to more than 50 refugees in the camp, who were employed under the supervision of Jordanian solar company Mustakbal to help with construction.
Furthermore, Azraq’s solar plant, which is a result of cooperation between the local government, a private organization and UNHCR, is connected to Jordan’s national grid, which means that any unused electricity generated can be fed back into the network at no cost, supporting the energy needs of the host community.
Following the outbreak of the Syrian conflict, which is now in its seventh year, the Kingdom of Jordan has been affected by an influx of refugees from the neighboring country. In order to better cope with the crisis that the big volume of people is placing on its infrastructure, the country has turned to solar PV.