Jordan’s Za’atari camp goes green with new solar plant

Jordan’s Za’atari camp goes green with new solar plant

The largest solar plant ever built in a refugee camp went live, providing clean and much-needed additional power to 80,000 Syrian refugees living in Jordan’s Za’atari camp.

The plant will reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions from the camp by 13,000 metric tonnes per year, equivalent to 30,000 barrels of oil. It will also deliver annual savings of around US$5.5 million, which UNHCR – the UN Refugee Agency – will be able to reinvest in vital humanitarian assistance.

The 12.9 megawatt peak solar photovoltaic plant was funded by the Government of Germany through the KfW Development Bank at a cost of 15 million euros (US$ 17.5 million).

Electricity provides an essential lifeline for camp residents, from lighting shelters to preserving food and maintaining hygiene. Previously, however, the high cost of powering the camp has meant that electricity use in refugee shelters was rationed to six to eight hours a day after sunset.

The new solar plant will provide families with between 12 and 14 hours electricity each day. Residents say the extra power will vastly improve their lives, allowing them to complete their daily chores earlier and prevent children from having to play outside on the dusty streets after dark.

Source: The UN Refugee Agency (Unhcr)

Date: April 2018

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