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AFD Group has just approved a USD 50 million loan to the Jordanian company Green Watts Renewable Energy LLC to build a wind farm in the South of the country. This project will help develop renewable sources of energy in a country that is highly reliant on fossil fuel imports.

Diversifying energy sources and focusing on national resources 

The 41-turbine wind farm will be built on a 1,600 metre-high plateau in the Ma'an region around 200km south of Amman.  
It will have a capacity of 86 mega-watts and generate over 262 GWh of electricity a year – enough to supply around 60,000 households. This electricity will be sold to the national utility (NEPCO) at a lower tariff than that charged for other energy and it is estimated that the project will cut CO² emissions by over 160,000 tonnes a year.

As Gregor Quiniou, Deputy Head of Proparco's Energy and Infrastructure division explains, "our objective is to help Jordan develop renewable – and local – sources of energy. This project will add around 40% to its wind generating capacity, cut its dependence on fossil fuels and reduce costs."

Daniel Calderon, CEO and co-founder of Alcazar Energy (the developer of the project) said: “The successful implementation of Jordan’s renewable energy program delivers tremendous benefits to the country’s macroeconomic, social and environmental landscape. We appreciate the support of the Government of Jordan and lenders, such as Proparco, DEG and EBRD who enabled us to play an active role in this program. Our objective is to build a long term sustainable portfolio of renewable energy projects in the country while bringing positive change to the communities in which we operate”.

Indeed, Jordan is increasingly having to contend with two major constraints: a relentless increase in energy consumption of 5% every year and a huge reliance on imported energy (97% of all of its energy requirements in 2014).

To tackle these challenges, the Jordanian government has deployed a diversification strategy aimed at increasing the contribution of renewable energies to 10% of total consumption and generating 30% of energy requirements from national resources, all by 2020.

Transferring expertise and creating local employment 

200 people will be taken on during the construction phase, including 160 unqualified local workers in what is one of Jordan's poorest regions.

The wind farm will be built by two sector heavyweights, both of whom have prior experience of wind energy development in the country: Gamesa will supply the turbines and technology while Elecnor will look after civil engineering and electrical connection. All of the local employees will benefit from the expertise and special training provided by these two companies.

A commitment to the long term 

The total project cost will be USD 185 million and 75% of this amount will be financed by bank loans over a 18 years period: USD 50 million is being put up by AFD and Proparco; USD 19 million by the German development bank DEG (under a syndication led by Proparco) and USD 69 million by the EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development).

AFD and Proparco have been actively partnering energy and environment projects in Jordan for the last 10 years: in 2014, Proparco put up a USD 50 million loan to build three of Jordan's first photovoltaic power plants in the Ma’an region. For more information about this project .