As part of its Wind for Prosperity program, Vestas and EP Global Energy (EPGE) signed a Memorandum of Understanding in March 2014 with the aim to deploy wind energy solutions to communities in the Middle East that are faced with significant energy challenges largely due to regional conflict or remoteness. Jordan will be the first country in the Middle East to host this project. Under the MOU, Vestas and EPGE will collaborate to deploy wind energy solutions to help improve access to electricity for communities that currently lack the proper generation capacity, and by doing so will address the demands of the growing population. The Wind For Prosperity project will not only be specifically targeted at refugee camps and will include neighboring communities. It will therefore support the crisis faced by Jordan as refugees move out of the camps and into the host communities.
Vestas and EPGE plan to begin development of a wind power plant with a total generation capacity between 9MWs and 15MWs. The initial step will be to identify a suitable plot of land in the Mafraq region, which would ideally be situated in the vicinity of the Zaatari Camp (Khirbet Awwad or Al Mafraq) where there appears to be abundant wind resources and adequate grid interconnection capacity, which will be confirmed in an analysis utilizing advanced analytical tools that examines a broad spectrum of wind and weather data to evaluate potential sites and establish which of them can provide the optimum conditions for the project. Vestas and EPGE will construct the power plant on an EPC basis (engineering, procurement and construction) with EPGE acting as lead developer and local partner whereas Vestas and its partners will procure, supply, and install the wind turbines. Additionally, Vestas will support EPGE in identifying and securing the necessary funding for the project, which is expected to be fully donor-funded. The execution of the project will take 12 months depending on when the Jordanian government will allocate land in addition to necessary licenses and permits.
The project aims to provide energy to the refugee camp as well as to the local area and local population. Exact numbers will depend on local grid connections. 9MW to 15MW can provide electricity to around 15,000 households. There will be hired in local contractors to support in the construction phase and after construction, a local service set up, in connection with the larger Jordanian projects the organization has, will most likely be established.
Secure land rights from Jordanian government - 2014 Q3
Secure funding - 2015 Q2
Development process begins (siting & procurement) 2014 Q3 - 2015 Q3
Wind farm construction 2015 Q3 - 2015 Q4
Wind farm commissioning - 2015 Q4
In May 2014, UN officials reported that over 9 million Syrians had been displaced by the civil war. Of these 9 million, 2.7 million are believed to have fled to other countries, predominantly Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, and Jordan. The large number of refugees from Syria has caused the total number of refugees worldwide to exceed 50 million for the first time since WWII.
As the Syrian crisis enters the third year, the influx of refugees into Jordan continues. This has exacerbated the severe energy challenges Jordan faces, which was an issue even before the crisis, as there were challenges due to rising local consumption and limited domestic fossil fuel resources. Currently, Jordan imports 96% of its energy needs, among the highest in the world in dependency on foreign energy sources. Jordan's GDP is accordingly more or less completely reliant on imports of energy like oil and gas from neighboring Arab countries.
The country is therefore in need of a source of reliable, affordable, and locally produced electricity.
Given that EPGE and Vestas are committed to delivering the project on a fully donor-funded basis and have allocated one employee each to reach out to various grant and concessional funding organizations, strong support from the Jordanian Government and relevant authorities is welcomed in order to ensure the Project becomes a reality in a short amount of time. Specific areas where the government and relevant authorities can assist include the public endorsement of the initiative to help secure appropriate grant funding, granting land concessions in suitable areas, and overall permitting and licensing support.
Technology, technology service (including site hunt and site design), transport & logistic services, procurement, support in fundraising, media & PR support, etc.