Syrian refugees in Jordan’s desert get solar power
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Syrian refugees in Jordan’s desert get solar power

UN refugee agency says Azraq has become the world's first refugee camp powered by renewable energy

Syrian refugees look through the gate of a grocery store at the al-Azraq refugee camp in northeast Jordan, April 14, 2016. (AP Photo/ Sam McNeil)
Syrian refugees look through the gate of a grocery store at the al-Azraq refugee camp in northeast Jordan, April 14, 2016. (AP Photo/ Sam McNeil)

AZRAQ REFUGEE CAMP, Jordan — The UN refugee agency has switched on a newly built solar power plant to serve 20,000 Syrian refugees in the remote Azraq camp in Jordan’s desert.

The agency said Wednesday that Azraq has become the world’s first refugee camp powered by renewable energy.

For the first two-and-a-half years after the camp’s founding in April 2014, refugees only had solar lanterns. Electricity was only introduced to Azraq in January. With the solar plant, the refugee agency saves $1.5 million a year in electricity costs.

It says refugees can now light their prefab shelters, connect a fridge and a TV, and charge phones.

The $9.7 million plant was funded by the Brighter Lives for Refugees campaign of a foundation established by Ikea, the global home furnishings retailer.

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