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USA to support CSP in Jordan

The US government will fund a US$738,492 feasibility study for installing more than 50 MW of concentrated solar power (CSP) in Jordan’s Ma’an development zone.

The US Trade & Development Agency approved the funding of CSP in late September, as part of a package of US$1.5 million. A pre-solicitation request for proposals has been posted with a deadline of 19 November, stating that only US firms and individuals may bid on the USTDA-financed activity.

"US firms are world leaders in the application of clean energy technologies,” says USTDA acting director Leocadia Zak. “These grants and the orientation visit are outstanding examples of the way USTDA's programme provides countries with access to state-of-the-art US equipment, technology and expertise in meeting important development priorities.”

The grant to Millennium Energy Industries will fund a feasibility study on the construction of a 5 MW CSP plant demonstration project in Jordan’s Ma’an Development Zone. This pilot project is designed to advance the development of one or more 46 MW CSP facilities, using technology supplied by eSolar of Pasadena, California.

Millennium Energy Industries is also known as International for Energy Technology Industries, a Jordan-based international solar energy solutions company operating in the Middle East - North Africa region.

“MEI looks forward to working with USTDA and eSolar toward the successful implementation of solar power in Jordan,” says chairman Ennis Rimawi. “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.”

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.”

USTDA advances economic development and US commercial interests in developing and middle income countries. It funds various forms of technical assistance, early investment analysis, training, orientation visits and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading environment.

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Solar electricity  •  World Future Energy Summit