EghtesadOnline: Austria’s Solar and Benefit Group and Fars Province Investment Services Center signed a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday for building four solar power plants in Abadeh County in the province.
“The MoU will pave the way for setting up four solar farms with a combined power generation capacity of 70 megawatts, costing $100 million,” said Babak Daei, director general of the Economic Affairs and Finance Bureau of Fars Province and deputy director of the center, IRNA reported.
Daei added that the venture will be made up of two 25-MW plants and two 10-MW units, noting that the provincial investment center is ready to obtain the permits and use state incentives for renewable power production to speed up the construction of the renewable project.
According to the official, a plot of land will be allocated to the projects within six months and the Austrian investor is expected to complete the project in seven months, Financial Tribune reported.
Last month, London-based renewable energy investor Quercus signed a deal to invest over €500 million ($600 million) in a solar power project in Iran, with construction to start in the first half of 2018.
The planned 600-megawatt plant, located in central Iran, will be the sixth largest globally, behind projects of up to 1.5 gigawatts in China and India.
Established in 2010, independently-owned Quercus has a portfolio of some 40 renewable energy plants across Europe.
Iran is heavily reliant on natural gas and oil to generate energy, but air pollution is driving interest in renewables and Iran has made a commitment to develop 5 GW of new renewable energy capacity by 2020.
The country's installed solar energy capacity is reportedly at 53 MW, Reuters said, referring to Energy Ministry data, but 76 firms have signed deals to study building an extra 932 MW of capacity. Interest has grown since the lifting of international sanctions on Iran in 2016.