EghtesadOnline: Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian on Thursday inaugurated seven electricity projects during his visit to Zabol in the underprivileged Sistan-Baluchestan Province.
Ardakanian said the projects, which cost 570 billion rials ($13 million), will not only help stabilize power supply in the region but also increase electricity exports capacity to Afghanistan, IRNA reported.
Giving a breakdown, he noted that the ventures entailed three power transmission lines, namely Sefidabeh–Adimi 400-kilovolt, Adimi-Lutak 230- kV and Adimi–Hirmand 230/63- kV as well as four substations, namely Adimi 400/230- kV, Adimi 230/63- kV, Hirmand 230/63- kV and Lutak 230/63- kV.
"The substations will boost the province's power transmission and distribution, reduce outages and help meet the demands of agricultural and industrial sectors," Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.
The minister added that the venture will also help synchronize the power that will be generated in Zabol Mil-E Nader wind farms with the national grid.
"Iran's top engineering and energy enterprise MAPNA is planning to build a 50-megawatt wind farm in Mil-E Nader zones spanning over 10,000 and 150,000 hectares," he said.
According to the official, all areas in the province are suitable for producing solar energy, with the northern areas particularly suitable for creating large wind farms.
--- Floating Solar Farm
On operations to build a 7-megawatt floating solar farm in the southeastern city of Zehak, Ardakanian added that permits to install floating photovoltaic panels on 14 hectares of Chah-Nimeh water reservoirs have been issued.
"The renewable venture, worth €8.5 million ($10.1 million), will be carried out by domestic experts," he said.
Referring to the critical environmental condition of the underdeveloped province, the official noted that besides generating electricity, such projects can greatly help prevent water evaporation.
Chah-Nimeh reservoirs are three natural and big cavities in the south of Sistan Plain 50 kilometers from Zabol. Surplus water from Hirmand River flows into them through a canal. These reservoirs, with a capacity of 700 million cubic meters, equal roughly one-seventh of Hamoun Wetland.
However, 355 million cubic meters evaporate annually from the reservoirs.
In addition to water retention, floating solar plants provide additional water quality benefits, of particular benefit to potable water infrastructure management.
By shading water, floating solar farms also inhibit the growth of water weeds and bacteria. Such plants, which have become increasingly popular in the world, are used to provide electricity to port cities, islands, large industrial sites, oil and gas installations, as well as for desalinating water.
--- Water Desalination Unit
According to Mohsen Miradi, managing director of Sistan-Baluchestan Province Water and Wastewater Company, the minister also broke ground on the fourth phase of Zahedan water desalination unit that is being developed with the help of private sector at an estimated cost of $4 million.
The facility will have the capacity to produce 15,000 cubic meters of water per day once it is in full swing.
Miradi added that the implementation of water pipeline project to transfer potable water to Khash started on Thursday.
"The initiative will supply 17,000 village dwellers in the region with potable water and is estimated to cost $1 million," he said.