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Auctions and new licenses will be suspended until the Jordanian government has assessed the capabilities of its power network.

JANUARY 28, 2019 

Jordan has called a halt to all generation projects over concerns related to its grid capacity.

Image: First Solar

Jordan¡¯s Energy, Water and Environment Association (EDAMA) has revealed the government earlier this month suspended all bids and tenders for energy generation projects until the completion of technical studies to assess the capacity of the electrical grid.

The development, announced by EDAMA on its own Twitter account, added the granting of approvals for renewable energy projects of more than 1 MW will be suspended until grid capacity has been assessed.

Jordan¡¯s grid capacity stands at around 3.6 GW, with the National Electric Power Company (NEPCO) planning to add a further 1 GW through the $160 million Green Corridor project by the end of the year. The Green Corridor is crucial for the deployment of renewables in the country, as it will enable solar and wind power generated in the south to be brought to central and northern Jordan, where electricity consumption is higher.

Last month, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development gave NEPCO a $256 million loan to help the utility enhance the capabilities of the Jordanian power network, including through grid improvements such as the construction of substations and the introduction of automated management systems and transmission infrastructure.

Capacity shortfall

Jordan imports around 90% of its electricity and has more than 800 MW of PV capacity in operation, with another 2.2 GW expected to come online by 2021.

In October, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources decided to delay the announcement of the successful bidder in Jordan¡¯s Round 3 PV and wind auction. The undecided size distribution of the winning projects is thought to have prompted the delay. The auction attracted a lowest bid of $0.02488/kWh, submitted by Chinese manufacturer Jinko.

In a recent pv magazine article by Amjad Khashman, a masters candidate in energy economics and MENA renewables specialistthe technical limitations of the grid were mentioned as a factor creating uncertainties and challenges for the Round 3 auction.