First Solar and local partner Shams Ma’an Power Generation have agreed a power purchase agreement (PPA) for a 52.5MW PV power plant in Jordan.

The pair agreed a 20-year deal with Jordan’s regulatory authority, the National Electric Power Company.

First Solar, which is a shareholder in Shams Ma’an Power Generation, will provide its thin-film modules, act as engineering, procurement and construction contractor, and also provide operations and maintenance for the project.

“The Shams Ma’an solar power plant represents the future of Jordan’s energy independence,” said Hanna Zaghloul, CEO of Shams Ma’an.

“By bringing together industry-leading capabilities, international financing and advanced thin-film technology that is ideally suited to local conditions, we will establish a regional benchmark for the independent production of power,” he said.

“There is no doubt that adding PV capacity to the country’s energy generation portfolio offers Jordan and its people a winning value proposition.”

The Jordanian government announced last month that it had finalised terms for PPAs on seven projects totalling 200MW. The seven individual projects will each be awarded 120 fils/kWh (US$0.17/kWh). The current cost of electricity is around US$0.25/kWh.

The project is part of the Ma’an development area initiative, an economic development venture in southern Jordan, and will generate 500 jobs during construction.

Jordan is plagued by high electricity prices and frequent power shortages.

“This agreement marks a significant step towards fulfilling Jordan’s energy security goals,” said Ahmed S. Nada, VP of business development for First Solar in the Middle East. “By efficiently harnessing the country’s most abundant energy resource, Shams Ma’an will help power sustainable growth and development with clean, affordable and reliable solar electricity."