First Middle Eastern utility-scale solar-plus-storage plant comes online

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Jordanian PV panel maker Philadelphia Solar has announced completion of the largest solar-plus-storage power plant in the MENA region.

The 23 MW/12.6 MWh facility is near Mafraq, in northern Jordan. The plant was built in two phases, with the first 12 MW section operating since October 2015 and a second, 11 MW phase – which has now been grid connected – launched in May after a power purchase agreement was signed with the Irbid District Electricity Company. The second phase consisted of around 34,350 polycrystalline, 320 W panels; single axis tracking system the PS-1P-Tracker, provided by Philadelphia Solar; and a 12 MWh lithium ion energy storage system.

“The new power plant’s purpose is to enhance the grid by power peak shaving and power shifting to increase the stability of the grid and support the grid at peak load hours,” said Philadelphia Solar. “Additionally, it will also enhance the availability of energy during … daytime hours.”

The $42 million project, financed by the Capital Bank of Jordan, is owned by Philadelphia Solar’s Al Badiya unit.

Philadelphia Solar is the largest of Jordan’s two PV module manufacturers, with an annual production capacity of 220 MW. Its rival is Aqaba-based Wiosun.

Renewable energy power systems that have “Jordanian origin labeling” entitle developers to an additional 15% feed-in premium tariff.

Jordan is supporting solar and renewables through a series of tenders and a net metering regime.