Jordan on Monday signed deals with two companies to build two solar energy-run power plants , Energy Minister Mohammad Hamed said.
Under the agreements, the two companies will build power generation facilities in the southern region, each with 10-megawatt capacity, the minister told The Jordan Times after the signing of the two deals.
The agreements raise the number of deals signed by the government for renewable energy projects  to 12, he said, ending the first phase of a three-stage project to increase the locally produced renewable energy input.
“Under the first round, we signed 12 agreements. We have two remaining rounds under which about eight renewable energy projects for power generation  will be built,” said the minister.
The total cost of the 12 projects under the first round stands at $560 million, Hamed added.
The 12 projects will generate 470 gigawatt hours per year and will create about 2,500 jobs, said the minister.
“The 12 projects are expected to be completed early 2015 and in mid-2015 they will be connected to the grid,” said the minister.
Hamed said the projects will significantly help cut the country’s rising energy bill, which is one of the main challenges facing state finances.
The ministry is expected to select four companies by September, with each to build a 50-megwatt renewable energy power plant.
In addition, the ministry said it is expected to select four other companies that will each build a 100-megawatt renewable energy power plant.
Under the country’s energy strategy, electricity generated from renewable sources  will represent about 10 per cent of the energy mix by 2020.