Alectris, a leading global solar asset care innovation firm, and MASE, Modern Arabia for Solar Energy, today announced its alliance on Arabia One Solar, a 10 MWp AC solar PV plant in Jordan. MASE, established by the Arabia Group of Companies, will lead field operations and maintenance services for the solar plant, supervised and supported by the global asset care technical expertise and plant management software capabilities of Alectris. The project represents the development and use of a new business model to meet the criteria of the world’s financial community and increase bankability of photovoltaic systems in emerging solar markets.
Arabia One Solar
A clean energy initiative of Jordan’s Round I Renewable Energy Program, Arabia One Solar is supported by tier one sponsors and internationally recognized bankable EPC, equipment and service providers including financing from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation (FINNFUND). IFC is a member of the World Bank Group, the largest worldwide development institution focused exclusively on the private sector in developing countries. In addition to Arabia Trading & Consulting (an Arabia Group company), Arabia One Solar sponsors include Ennera Energy and Mobility and Hanwha Engineering & Construction, who will also construct the project.
The Arabia One Solar PV power plant is located in the Ma’an Development Area, 218 km south of the Jordan capital of Amman. Once constructed, the plant will have a total of 45,192 photovoltaic modules with a total peak power of 11,523.96 kilowatt-peak (kWp). The energy output will be sold to Jordan’s National Electric Power Company under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA).
A Model to Increase Bankability in Emerging Solar Markets
The project employs a new business model for emerging solar markets. These markets hold high solar potential but have little or no industry infrastructure including qualified contractors or operations and maintenance resources to ensure long term asset productivity.
First this model draws on solar operations and maintenance expertise at the project design and development stage to engineer bankability and financial assurance into the plans for the investment team. Second it ensures long term financial viability of the asset by structuring and deploying operations, maintenance and management of the site based on worldwide best practices. Finally the strategy benefits the emerging market by providing for the rapid evolution of regional expertise by drawing on a global subject matter expert with the expressed purpose of informing the technical and infield success of the regional partner.
“The eco-system built around Arabia One Solar improved the bankability of the project for the investors and the lenders,” explains Vassilis Papaeconomou, Managing Director of Alectris. “Working together the strengths of the partners are enhanced to meet the criteria of the investment community. We can make solar more attractive for emerging markets by aligning the expertise of local companies like MASE with global best practices, including those employed by our team. We see only success with the MASE team, who bring excellent country and solar experience to the table.”
The Alectris’ Solar ERP, ACTIS, will be installed on Arabia One Solar from the start of the plant’s operation. Alectris will provide O&M services in alliance with MASE, moving to a full technical and operational knowledge transfer to the Jordanian based company further into the project’s life span.
“The solar industry in Jordan and the MENA region is growing too quickly to organically build our operations, maintenance and asset management expertise and software tools,” said Tareq Khalifeh, Director of Operations for MASE. “Our team is well versed in the development and construction of photovoltaic systems. By joining with Alectris, we can inform our operations and maintenance discipline quickly engendering deep confidence in our ability to manage Arabia One Solar and our portfolio of utility and retail distributed generation solar plants.”