solar thermal electric

US government looks east to develop concentrating solar power

The US Trade & Development Agency (USTDA) has approved funding of a feasibility study for installing more than 50 MW of concentrated solar power in Jordan’s Ma’an development zone using US know-how and technology.

The USTDA is supporting the development of Jordan’s clean energy resources with a $738,492 grant to Millennium Energy Industries to conduct a feasibility study into the construction of a 5 MW concentrated solar power demonstration plant in Jordan’s Ma’an Development Zone. The pilot project is designed to advance the development of one or more 46 MW facilities, using technology supplied by eSolar Inc. of Pasadena, California.

"US firms are world leaders in the application of clean energy technologies. These grants are outstanding examples of the way USTDA's program provides countries with access to state-of-the-art US equipment, technology and expertise in meeting important development priorities," said USTDA Acting Director Leocadia I. Zak.

“Millennium Energy Industries looks forward to working with USTDA and eSolar toward the successful implementation of solar power in Jordan. This project in Ma’an will help achieve Jordan’s goal of increasing its use of clean and renewable sources of energy and decreasing its dependence on imported fossil fuels,” said MEI Chairman Ennis Rimawi.

The government of Jordan has adopted a plan to produce 90% of its energy locally by 2020 and is seeking build-operate-transfer (BOT) deals for the development of 300 MW of wind energy capacity by 2015 and another 600 MW by 2020, as well as 300 to 600 MW of solar power capacity by 2020. It will incentivise private sector involvement by driving investment in renewable energy projects, and provide tax exemptions and cost subsidies to assist the development of renewable energy resources.

Jordan will also create a government-sponsored fund to support development of renewable energy, and evaluate the resource potential and identify promising opportunities for future renewable energy projects, according to government sources. It will issue renewable energy legislation as the framework to foster development of renewable energy resources to diversify energy sources.

The USTDA project is part of the US strategy to advance greenhouse gas reduction investments. Next month, it will sponsor a renewable energy orientation visit to San Jose, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, “to support the Jordan's efforts to diversify its energy supply and resources through exploring solar, wind, energy efficiency and geothermal technologies.”

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