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The Ministry of Energy and Water (MoEW) is preparing to launch a bid for the generation of 300 megawatts (MW) of wind power next year, according to Pierre Khoury, Project Manager at the Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation (LCEC), affiliated to the MoEW. A private sector company will be selected to produce power and sell it to Electricité du Liban (EDL).
The wind turbine project will be similar to the one licensed last July by the Cabinet. Three permits had been given to private companies to operate 200 MW wind turbines in Akkar to generate electricity.
Khoury said: “When the new project is completed, total production from wind energy will reach 500 MW.”
The currently operating hydro and electrical power plants have a combined generation capacity of around 1,600 MW.
The Ministry is also working on a separate project to launch solar farms with a production capacity of 360 MW in the first batch and 180 MW in a second batch. “There was a lot of demand by the private sector for this kind of projects. So, we decided to expand it,” he said.
In 2017, the Ministry had sought the development of 180 MW of solar farms across all regions. The private sector had been invited to develop the solar farms, operate them, and sell power to EDL. The overall proposed capacities by interested bidders far exceeded the Ministry’s plan, reaching 3,500 MW. This encouraged the Ministry to expand the project by two additional batches.
“We are optimistic. We expect to exceed our target to generate 12 percent of overall estimated demand for power by 2020,” he said.