The most powerful family in Jordan is tapping into the most powerful energy source in the Universe to electrify their private residence. Prince Muhammad bin Talal, brother of Jordan’s King Hussein I, has installed what is the largest, self-use photovoltaic (PV) array in the Middle East.
Prince bin Talal is an active pursuer of environmental solutions. Below see him with Green Prophet’s Karin at a Swiss event for water cooperation in the Middle East.
Covering a sun-facing hillside on his vast Amman estate, this royal installation represents a powerful endorsement of renewable energy.
Powered for a prince!
Jordan’s Al Manal Palace is now powered by over 160 kW solar power!
Global Renewable Energy Systems LLC, a leading PV installation company from Germany, designed a solar system that would give long-term, reliable energy output in Jordan’s desert climate.
A total of 540 poly crystalline modules manufactured by Chinese manufacturer Realforce Power and three German-produced KACO Powador 60.0 TL3 inverters provide 162 kW of installed generating capacity. KACO new energy is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of solar inverters and the first to achieve fully carbon-neutral production.
Zouhair Kefi, Managing Director of KACO new energy Dubai, praised the good example of the Royal Family in a press release, “Precisely in a region where oil wealth did not bring good fortune, the PV array on the Al Manal Palace is serving as an example to show that a prosperous future can be attained just as well with renewable energy.”
bin Talal is a longtime proponent of solar power. Solar is environmentally suited to Jordan’s location. It is endlessly renewable, politically stable, and secure in that it lessens dependence on imports. According to World Bank data, Jordan currently imports 98% of its oil and gas, yet renewables contribute less than 1% of Jordan’s energy despite the Kingdom boasting one of the highest annual daily averages of solar irradiance in the world.
In April 1012, Jordan’s Parliament adopted the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Law (REEL) aimed at inciting private-sector investment in the kingdom’s commercial renewable energy sector. Earlier this year, development was approved for the 52.2 MW Shams solar energy plant, slated to be the largest solar PV installation in the Middle East.
REEL targets homeowners and small businesses too, but domestic installations have not been strong – in part due to relatively high first investment, and the current dip in heating fuel costs is also a deterrent.
The royal solar system went live in August and it’s a puzzle why no one has called Guinness World Records. Loudly broadcasting the Middle East’s largest personal-use PV array – and its royal champion – with follow-on stories on system performance, cost benefits and rate of return, will surely help spike domestic conversions across Amman.