The US’ First Solar has been awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to build the 52.5MW Shams Maan photovoltaic (PV) solar power plant in Jordan.

The firm will also provide long-term operations and maintenance (O&M) services for the project.  

First Solar was originally part of the developer consortium, Shams Maan Power Generation Company, which has signed a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with National Electric Power Company (Nepco). However, the US firm recently divested its stake to a consortium, which contains the local Kawar Group, subsidiaries of Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation and Qatar Electricity & Water Company (QEWC).

The plant will be the country’s largest installed PV solar facility. It is expected to produce 160 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity a year, with capacity to power more than 35,000 homes. The renewable energy will cut down on about 90,000 tonnes of carbon emissions a year. This is equivalent to taking 20,000 cars off the road each year.

Shams Maan Power Generation Company is a special purpose company set up to target solar energy opportunities in Jordan.

The country is pushing ahead with a large alternative energy programme as part of its efforts to diversify power generation resources. Spain’s Elecnor was recently awarded a contract to build a 75MW wind farm in Maan. Elecnor will use turbines supplied by Spanish turbine manufacturer Gamesa.