The Baynouna Solar Energy Company (BSCE), a joint venture between the UAE’s world-leading renewable energy company, Masdar, and Finnish investment and asset management group Taaleri, has announced the formal inauguration of the 200-megawatt (MW) Baynouna Solar Park – the largest clean energy project in Jordan.
The inauguration was held in the presence of His Excellency Bisher Al-Khasawneh, Prime Minister of Jordan, and was attended by HE Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, COP28 President-Designate, and Chairman of Masdar; HE Dr. Saleh Al Kharabsheh, Jordan’s Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources; and HE Sheikh Khalifa Bin Mohammed Bin Khalid Al Nahyan, UAE Ambassador to Jordan. The ceremony was also attended by other high-level officials from the government of Jordan and senior executives from Masdar.
HE Al Jaber, said, “In partnership with the Jordanian government, the Baynouna Solar Park will contribute to Jordan’s climate targets, provide access to clean energy, create jobs and ensure economic growth. Along with our other project here – the Tafila Wind Farm – Masdar is already helping Jordan to produce 29 percent of its electricity from renewable sources and will support its goal of increasing that to 50 percent by the end of the decade. Ambitious, transformative partnerships like these are precisely what we need if we are to deliver on the promise of the Paris Agreement and continue to ensure that we are holding back emissions, not progress. COP28 will focus on moving from goals to implementation, with a clear focus on demonstrable action on mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage, and finance, as we aim to keep the objective of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees alive.”
HE Dr Saleh Al Kharabsheh, Jordanian Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, said, “Under the directive of His Majesty King Abdullah II to make Jordan a regional center for green development, the Ministry is focused on developing local energy sources to achieve energy security, enhance self-reliance and limit the effects of climate change. If we look at the world today, we see that renewable energy, especially solar and wind energy, are the fastest growing and widespread renewable energy sources and the time has come to maximize the benefits of renewables.”
Developed through a power purchase agreement between Masdar and National Electric Power Company, Jordan’s state electricity provider, the Baynouna Solar Park produces over 560 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of energy annually – enough to power 160,000 homes. The plant also displaces 360,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, equivalent to taking nearly 80,000 cars off the road.
HE Sheikh Khalifa Bin Mohammed Bin Khalid Al Nahyan, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary representative of the UAE to Jordan, said, “This inauguration is a landmark moment in the history of our two nations and will serve to strengthen the already powerful relationship between us. The UAE is committed to helping our brother nations in the region achieve their clean energy objectives and we stand ready to share our expertise further with the Government and people of Jordan and to help deliver sustainable economic development.”
Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer, Masdar, said, “We are proud to witness the inauguration of this project, which is one of the fruits of Masdar’s long collaborative partnership with Jordan. We would like to thank our partners in Government, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, the National Electric Power Company of Jordan, and also the financial institutions that helped to make this project possible. We stand ready to support Jordan in its energy transition and will look to increase our presence in the Kingdom through the development of further clean energy projects that will drive economic growth for the nation.”
Financial institutions that supported the Baynouna project include the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), the KfW Group’s DEG, and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Peter Ramsay, Chief Executive Officer, Taaleri Group, said, “We are very excited to be inaugurating the largest solar park in Jordan. This impressive project is a testament to the strength of cooperation between Masdar and Taaleri, two pioneers who have been active in the renewable energy field for a long time. We are proud to advance our common global climate change mitigation goals together with our partners and investors.”
Masdar also operates the 117 MW Tafila Wind Farm, which was completed in 2015 – the first commercial utility-scale wind project in the Middle East. In November 2022, Masdar signed a memorandum of understanding with the Jordanian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources to explore the development of a further 2 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy projects in the country.
The energy transition is a central component of the UAE’s priorities as it prepares to host the 28th Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) in November-December. The Conference, the largest annual gathering of policymakers and practitioners focused on climate change and sustainability, will see well over 70,000 officials from across the public and private sectors gather at Expo City in Dubai.