By JT – Jul 13,2015 – Last updated at Jul 13,2015

AMMAN — The Kuwaiti Fund for Arab Economic Development and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development have agreed to the increase in the total generating capacity for the projects of the wind energy in Maan and solar cells in Quweirah to 180 megawatts (MW), Energy Minister Ibrahim Saif said Sunday.

The Kuwaiti fund agreed to raise the generating capacity of the wind energy in Maan from 66MW to 80MW, while the Abu Dhabi fund agreed to expand the capacity of the Quweirah solar cells from 65-75MW to 100MW, Saif announced, expecting the total cost of both projects to stand at around $300 million.

He added the total number of turbines in the Maan wind energy project, financed by the Kuwaiti fund, will be 40 after installing seven new ones to the previous 33 with a capacity of 2MW for each device, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The minister expected the total energy produced from the project to reach around 175 gigawatts per year.

As for the Quweirah solar energy project, Saif said that the project is currently waiting for technical and financial offers from companies competing for the scheme, assuming the tender will be floated in October 2016 with a total capacity of 180-200 gigawatts per year.

Both projects, which are fully owned by the government, will be connected to the electric power grid, he said, adding that renewable energy projects will help the government face problems related to high costs of imported energy, and enable it to rely on local energy resources, Petra reported.

According to the national energy strategy, renewable energy projects are expected to generate 1,500 megawatts of electricity by 2020.

Jordan imports about 97 per cent of its energy needs annually at about 18 per cent of the gross domestic product, according to the Energy Ministry’s figures.

The Kingdom has one of the highest annual daily averages of solar irradiance in the world with an estimated 330 days of sunshine per year, while wind speeds in the country are as high as 7.5 metres to 11.5 metres per second in hilly areas.