When the temperature soared to 100 degrees in the Azraq refugee camp in Jordan last week, refugees living there could keep fans running inside their shelters. The camp, which had only sporadic access to electricity for its first two and a half years, is now home to the first solar farm in a refugee community.
The two-megawatt solar plant, funded by a donation from the Ikea Foundation, sends power into Jordan’s national grid, helping offset the electric bill for part of the camp, which is now connected to the grid. For 20,000 Syrian refugees living in two villages in the camp, power is free 24 hours a day. The plant will soon be scaled up to five megawatts to cover the needs of all of the camp’s 35,000 residents.