First Solar, Inc. of Tempe, Arizona USA, reported that it completed the 52.5 megawatt (MW)AC Shams Ma’an project on Schedule. The new Shams Ma’an solar power facility is in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. A consortium of investors consisting of Diamond Generating Europe Ltd., the Kawar Group, and Nebras Power Q.S.C. own the solar power plant.
First Solar significantly contributed to the project development before divesting its stake. Then, First Solar was appointed the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for the project. Once First Solar completed the project, Shams Ma’an signed a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Jordan’s power generation and distribution authority, the National Electric Power Company (NEPCO).
“First Solar has delivered a high-performance solar energy asset on schedule and with an excellent safety record. There is no doubt that this power plant will deliver on its promises, reliably generating energy over its lifetime and forming the cornerstone of Jordan’s energy security strategy,” said Karim Kawar, Chairman of Kawar Energy.
The plant produces clean electricity using over 600,000 high-performance First Solar Series 4 thin-film modules. First Solar says that its modules can provide up to 5 percent more specific energy than conventional crystalline silicon panels. Additionally, the modules are mounted on single-axis trackers that allow the facility to generate up to 20 percent more energy than from unmoving solar panels.
First Solar constructed the facility with a workforce that was almost entirely Jordanian. The company spent over 40,000 man hours on training alone, giving the Jordanian workforce a new skillset.
“Our hope is that the skills acquired through this project will further enable Jordan’s solar energy ambitions,” said Dr. Raed Bkayrat, First Solar’s Vice President of Business Development for the Middle East.
The project brings First Solar’s installed capacity in the Middle East to over 70MWAC. First Solar will add a further 200MWAC once it completes the construction of the second phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in 2017.