Solar O&M in the Middle East: technical challenges and solutions




The Technical Paper is published in PV Tech Power‘s Volume 13 (December 2017).

MASE, the region’s leading utility solar O&M provider with over 100 MW of operational and underway solar assets under management, has contributed a technical paper in this month’s edition of PV Tech Power, the solar industry’s foremost technical publication.

The technical paper, titled ‘Solar O&M in the Middle East: technical challenges and solutions‘ covers a handful of unique technical and operational challenges facing utility solar operators in the Middle East region and some of the innovative solutions emerging to keep plants running in the harshest conditions.  The paper leverages MASE’s on-the-ground operational experience and evaluates a number of technical challenges including:

  • The impact of soiling on plant performance, optimal cleaning frequency and methodology;
  • Grid instability concerns, availability and the impact of frequency fluctuations;
  • Equipment design, vulnerability to harsh environmental conditions and recommendations.

In additional to comprehensive technical analysis, the paper builds upon MASE’s O&M experience and provides real-time insight and actionable observations to assist plant owners, contractors and equipment manufacturers in understanding the unique operational challenges of operating utility solar facilities in the Middle East region.

Authors: Tareq Khalifeh (MASE Director of Operations), Haya Shahatit (MASE Project Coordinator), Ady Almadanat (MASE Project Engineer) and Omar Baker (MASE Project Engineer).


About MASE’s O&M Value Proposition

MASE is dedicated to long term solar performance. Our focus is to become the leading provider of O&M and asset management services for solar plants in the Middle East. Currently, our solar assets under management comprise over 100 MWp of capacity. Our utility solar O&M value proposition covers:

  • Peak performance, maximum availability and rapid intervention;
  • Local on the ground presence, industry best practices and cutting-edge testing and diagnostics technology;
  • Regional partnerships with leading global O&M service providers.

Roya News: Development-Focused Renewable Energy Projects


MASE completes implementation of three community-based solar PV plants

Coverage by Roya News

MASE has recently completed the implementation and commissioning of three solar PV rooftop plants located in three underprivileged rural communities across Jordan.

The installations were part of a pilot project funded and implemented by the COWATER – Jordan SEED program as part of the Government of Canada’s development initiatives in Jordan.  The project also sees the involvement of the Ministry of Jordan’s Jordan Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Fund (JREEEF). The solar installations will offset the electricity requirements of a community medical center in the town of Deir Alla as well as two households in Deir Alla and Ajloun.

MASE’s O&M team will operate, maintain and manage the solar installations.

PV Magazine: Financing for 51 MW PV Plant in Jordan Secured


EBRD extending loan to finance 51 MW solar PV plant in Jordan

Post originally published by PV Magazine

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has announced this week that is extending a $65 million loan to finance a 51 MW solar PV plant in Jordan. The loan is split equally between the EBRD and the Dutch development bank (FMO).

The 51 MW project is located in the Al-Safawi area, Northern Jordan, and is the fourth of the second solar tender that Jordan ran in 2015. All four projects of this tender are about 50 MW each.

Jordan’s first solar tender had also auctioned 200 MW of PV capacity, dispersed among 12 projects that are fully operational today.

A third solar PV tender was initiated by Jordan’s Government in December 2016 also concerning another 200 MW of capacity and the applications are still under review.

The 51 MW project funded by the EBRD and the FMO is developed by Al-Safawi for Green Energy PSC, a Jordanian company that is 70% owned by Spain’s Fotowatio Renewable Ventures and 30% by Jordans’ Arabia Trading and Consulting Company.

Mohanned Khalifeh, CEO of the Arabia Trading and Consulting Group, said that “as the only local developer to be successfully involved in this second round of the solar programme, we endeavour to amplify our commitment through the capacity building of local Jordanian talent across all project phases.”

All four projects of the second solar tender are now under construction.

Venture Magazine: ATC Secures Financing for Solar Project, MASE to Operate & Maintain


ATC Secures Financing for 66.69 MWp Solar PV Project

Post originally published by Venture

Arabia Trading & Consulting (ATC – an Arabia Group company), a leading Jordanian utility-scale solar developer, has announced it has reached financial close for its second solar project in Jordan, further cementing its commitment towards supporting Jordan’s renewable energy ambitions and expanding its investments in IPP solar assets.

Financial close has been achieved on a $65 million loan divided equally between the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO). The loan will be provided to Al Safawi for Green Energy PSC, an SPV representing the consortium of ATC and Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV), to finance the Al Safawi 51 MW (66.69 MWp) Solar PV Plant.

The Al Safawi Solar PV Plant is ATC’s second solar project in Jordan, having previously developed the currently operational Arabia One 11.52 MWp Solar PV Plant in Ma’an as part of Round 1. By achieving this milestone, ATC remains the only developer to be successfully involved in each of Jordan’s renewable energy IPP programs and is the only local developer in Round 2. ATC’s affiliate MASE will be providing turnkey operations and maintenance services to the 66.69 MWp solar plant.

The project will incorporate single-axis tracking technology that will optimize its performance, with more than 200,000 monocrystalline photovoltaic panels that will generate enough electricity to supply more than 40,000 Jordanian homes. The project is expected to generate over 100 jobs during its construction and permanent jobs once the operation is started.

Mohanned Khalifeh, Arabia Group CEO, emphasised the importance of local developers in advancing Jordan’s dynamic shift towards clean and sustainable energy: “The Al-Safawi project further cements ATC’s commitment towards supporting Jordan’s renewable energy ambitions. The project, which was originated by ATC, is our second solar development in Jordan. As the only local developer to be successfully involved in this second round of solar programme, we endeavour to amplify our commitment through the capacity building of local Jordanian talent across all project phases. This project would not have achieved this important milestone without the unwavering support of the relevant public entities including the Ministry of Energy & Mineral Resources (MEMR) and the National Electricity Production Company (NEPCO).”

Harry Boyd-Carpenter, EBRD Director for Power and Energy, said: “This project is the third financed by EBRD under Jordan’s second round of its solar energy program, bringing the total installed capacity of power projects supported by EBRD in Jordan to more than 1,000 MW AC. We are pleased to continue our successful cooperation with FMO and FRV, and delighted to support FRV and ATC in this fruitful collaboration.”

Rafael Benjumea, CEO of FRV highlighted the social impact of the project: “Al Safawi’s project shows once again the commitment of the Jordanian government to implement its energy strategy and meet established renewable targets. With this being our latest project in Jordan, FRV is contributing to Jordan’s sustainable development with the generation of clean and affordable energy in the country.”


MASE Featured in OBG Jordan 2016 Report

OBG Logo

MASE’s O&M capabilities highlighted in Oxford Business Group annual country report 2016

MASE’s utility-scale operations and maintenance activities have received coverage in the Energy Section of Oxford Business Group’s 2016 Report on Jordan. The Report, which is an annual publication by Oxford Business Group, provides a detailed overview of Jordan’s economy and business sectors including transportation, energy, healthcare  and financial services, while highlighting the activities of leading companies in each sector.

The Report’s Energy section also references the recently announced alliance between MASE and global O&M company Alectris which targets the local and regional solar operations, maintenance and asset management market and currently operates and manages the Arabia One 11.5 MW PV Plant in Ma’an, Jordan.  The Report reads: “In October 2015 international solar asset care firm Alectris and MASE announced that the two companies would be partnering on Arabia One Solar, a 10-MW solar photovoltaic (PV) plan [also] in Ma’an.  While MASE will lead field operations and maintenance services, Alectris will offer support and technical expetise, as well as plant management software. Located 218 km south of Amman, the plant will have 45,192 PV modules with a peak power of 11,524 kW.”


Venture Magazine: MASE Wins Gold at Intersolar Middle East 2016

MASE Solar Pioneers 2016 on Venture

MASE award covered by leading Jordanian business magazine

Post originally published by Venture

Amman, Jordan – 20 September 2016: Modern Arabia for Solar Energy (MASE)’s Director of Operations, Tareq Khalifeh, has won the Middle East Solar Industry Association’s (MESIA) Solar Pioneers 2016 Gold Award presented at Intersolar Middle East 2016 Global Solar Leaders’ Summit Opening Ceremony.

The Solar Pioneers awards (bronze, silver and gold) are presented to three young solar leaders and innovators drawn from across the Middle East, prudently selected by a jury comprising of seasoned solar industry professionals, academics and representatives from the public sector including DEWA and the UAE Ministry of Energy. Solar Pioneers are recognized for their proven track record and for demonstrating impact in leading the growth of solar across the MENA region and exemplifying the qualities of innovation, long term vision and leadership.

A Jordanian, Tareq is the only Arab recognized as a Solar Pioneer at the Intersolar Middle East 2016 event. Tareq reaped the Gold award.


MASE to Speak at Solar O&M and Asset Management


MASE to speak at Jordan’s first event focused on utility-scale solar O&M

MASE, a Jordan-based regional clean energy developer, installer and O&M provider, is pleased to confirm that it’s Director of Operations, Tareq Khalifeh, shall speak at the Solar O&M and Asset Management MENA conference scheduled to be held in Amman, Jordan from 17-18 October, 2016.

As Jordan’s leading operator and manager of solar assets and one of the MENA region’s forefront O&M and Asset Management companies, MASE shall present feedback from real-life experience in operating and maintaining utility-scale PV plants.

MASE’s principal O&M and Asset Management portfolio includes 16.5 MWp of installed capacity and 70 MWp of underway developments due to be managed by MASE by 2017.

About Tareq Khalifeh, MASE Director of Operations

Tareq co-founded MASE in 2013 following a career in consulting and serves as the Company’s Director of Operations, responsible for its day-to-day management, operations and development.  Tareq has led the development of Jordan’s first major solar IPP to be connected to the national grid – the Arabia One 11.52 MWp solar PV plant currently operational in Ma’an.  At various levels, Tareq has been actively involved in the development of over 70 MWp of installed or underway solar developments.

Tareq holds a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University in the US and an MSc in Energy Trade and Finance from Cass University in London.


About Solar O&M and Asset Management MENA

Solar O&M and Asset Management MENA will provide the key industry platform to discuss and share best practice O&M and Asset Management strategies for MENA’s developing solar projects. The conference will gather key developers, EPC contractors, O&M providers and investors to discuss O&M strategies for long-term energy savings, increased energy yield and optimized asset performance.


MASE Participates in USAID E&MV Workshop


MASE participates in USAID ECSB workshop

Amman, Aug. 2 — Modern Arabia for Solar Energy (MASE), a Jordan-based regional clean energy developer, installer and O&M provider, has participated in an Evaluation, Measurement and Verification Training workshop organized by USAID’s Energy Sector Capacity Building (ECSB) Activity.

On behalf of MASE, Project Coordinator Diana Athamneh presented the Company’s key technical evaluation methodology aimed at monitoring, measuring and evaluating the performance of PV solar systems. The training presentation comprised material on monitoring, data collection and data verification. The proprietary methodology, developed and implemented by MASE, falls within the Company’s key value proposition as a leading provider of solar plant Operations & Maintenance and Asset Management services.

The workshop was attended by various public entities and international organizations including the Ministry of Energy & Mineral Resources’ JREEEF, NEPCO, JEPCO, EDCO, IDECO RSS/NERC, Mercy Corps and the Jordan River Foundation.

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Jordan Shines On

MASE Jordan Shines On-2

Post originally published by PV Magazine.

Jordan’s solar PV market is currently the most successful in the MENA region. Its success, however, is not solely based on number of installations; rather, it is more accurately assessed by the number of local stakeholders that comprise the vibrant and fruitful solar space. pv magazine expands on Jordan’s great success and examines the opportunities and limitations that could enable or restrain it very soon.

Download the full pv magazine “Jordan Shines On” article here including interviews with MASE Project Coordinator, Diana Athamneh.

العربية للطاقة الشمسية” تفوز بجائزة أفضل مشروع خلايا شمسية للمنازل في

Jordan News Agency Community Solar Award MASE Energy

عمّان 13 كانون الأول (بترا)- فازت الشركة العربية الحديثة للطاقة الشمسية ، بجائزة جمعية الشرق الأوسط لصناعات الطاقة الشمسية عن فئة أفضل “مشروع طاقة شمسية لأسطح المنازل”، في منطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال إفريقيا.

وبحسب البيان الصادر عن الشركة، اليوم الأحد، يهدف المشروع لتركيب أنظمة خلايا شمسية قادرة على توليد الكهرباء بسعة كلية تبلغ 600 كيلو واط، لـ 400 أسرة أردنية من ذوي الدخل المحدود، بهدف تزويدهم بمصادر طاقة نظيفة، ومستدامة ومجانية.

وأوضح البيان ان الشركة تنفذت المشروع في اطار عقد تسليم مفتاح والصيانة والتشغيل مع وزارة الطاقة والثروة المعدنية الأردنية، من خلال دعم صندوق تشجيع الطاقة المتجددة وكفاءة الطاقة ومنظمة ميرسي كور، بالإضافة إلى خلق آلية للتسديد الميسر من خلال برنامج القرض الدوار، الذي ينفذه الصندوق بالتعاون مع منظمات المجتمع المدني.

وقال المهندس طارق خليفة مدير العمليات في الشركة، “إن المشروع يمثل علامة فارقة للأثر الايجابي الشامل الذي ممكن أن تحققه الطاقة النظيفة على الأسر والمجتمعات، والاقتصاد”.

وأكد خليفة أن المشروع يمثل نموذجا للشراكة بين القطاعين العام والخاص ومنظمات المجتمع المدني، بهدف وضع معايير لمواجهة تحديات التنفيذ لتطبيقات الطاقة الشمسية للمنازل، والوصول إلى تطبيق حلول الطاقة النظيفة على نطاق المجتمعات المحلية في المملكة.

وأشار البيان إلى أن الشركة، التي تعمل كمطور لمشاريع الطاقة النظيفة في الأردن والمنطقة، تسلمت الجائزة خلال حفل نظمته الجمعية العربية في دبي- الامارات العربية المتحدة، والذي يعقد سنويا بهدف تكريم المشاريع الريادية والانجازات في سوق الطاقة الشمسية في الشرق الأوسط وشمال افريقيا.

وذكر البيان أن الشركة العربية الحديثة تأسست من خلال مجموعة العربية، بهدف تطوير مشاريع الطاقة النظيفة في منطقة الشرق الأوسط ودول الخليج العربي، وتعنى في مجال تطوير وتنفيذ مشاريع الطاقة المتجددة.

–(بترا) م ش/س أ/حج