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EghtesadOnline: Sardasht Hydroelectric Dam in West Azarbaijan Province began taking water on Thursday in the presence of Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian. The clay core dam with a height of 114 meters from the river bed has a reservoir capacity of 380 million cubic meters.

Mohammadreza Rezazadeh, managing director of Iran Water and Energy Resources Development Co., said on Thursday that the facility will have an installed power generation capacity of 150 megawatts and is forecast to produce 421 gigawatt-hours of electricity annually upon completion, ISNA reported.

"The dam will have three power production units, each with 50-megawatt capacity," Rezazadeh said, adding that the first unit will go on stream by the end of the current fiscal year (March 2018) at an estimated cost of $400 million. The launch of Sardasht hydroelectric dam will be in line with efforts to boost electricity generation from non-fossil fuel sources, namely from hydro power, and reduce harmful emissions. Iran has pledged to increase the share of renewables in its power mix to 7,500 MW by 2030.  Installed capacity of thermal power plants is 61,000 MW, or more than 80% of the total national power generation capacity.

Add to that 12,000 MW of installed hydroelectric capacity and approximately 240 MW from renewables, including wind and solar, Financial Tribune reported.

Hamid Chitchian Iran water Sardasht Dam