By Mohammad Ghazal – Aug 04,2016

AMMAN — Four renewable energy projects with a total capacity of 106 megawatts (MW) have been connected to the grid so far in 2016, a government official said on Thursday.

Three solar energy projects in Maan and Aqaba were connected to the grid with a total capacity of 40MW, Haidar Gammaz, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, told The Jordan Times.

A wind project with a capacity of 66MW, funded by grants from Kuwait, has also been connected to the grid and work will begin soon to increase the project’s capacity by 14MW, said Gammaz.

He added that nine renewable energy projects, each with a capacity of 10MW, are in the final stages and are expected to be operational by the end of the year.

Solar and wind energy projects with a total capacity of 980MW are expected to be connected to the grid by the end of 2018, he said.

Energy officials say that more projects will be connected after the completion of a $159.7 million project to expand the capacity of the grid.

The Green Corridor Project, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2018, will boost the grid’s capacity by an additional 1,000MW to absorb the loads generated by new renewable energy projects, said Abdel Fattah Daradkeh, the director general of the National Electric Power Company, in July.

The grid’s capacity currently stands at 3,600MW.

In Jordan, the annual daily average of solar irradiance ranges from 5-7 kilowatt hour per square metre.

Despite that, renewable energy projects in Jordan only contribute 3 to 4 per cent to the national grid, but the figure is expected to reach 10 per cent by 2020.

Meanwhile, the wind speed in Jordan is around 10 metres per second in some areas, which makes it a favourable place for wind farms.