EghtesadOnline: A 10-megawatt solar power plant was inaugurated in the city of Mehriz in Yazd Province in a ceremony attended by Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian.
According to Ardakanian, the photovoltaic plant, which has come on stream at a total cost of ($14 million), is slated for the annual delivery of 23 million kilowatts, IRNA reported.
"Over 37,000 270-watt panels and 122 36-KW inverters have been used in the plant ... The generated power will be added to the city's power substation," he said.
Mehriz has 37,000 power consumers, according to Financial Tribune.
According to Ardakanian, the initiative will reduce fossil fuel consumption in the city.
Environmentalists and experts have often criticized the government's insufficient efforts to promote renewable energy in Yazd, given the region's huge potential for producing power from sunlight.
"The plant will save over 6.9 million cubic meters of gas annually … It will also prevent the release of 15,700 tons of greenhouse gases into the air," he said
Referring to the unprecedented water crises in the country due to low precipitation, the minister said, "The plant will also reduce water consumption by up to 5.4 million liters per annum."
30-MW Solar Farm
Later in the day, Ardakanian broke ground on another solar project with a capacity of 30 MW in Mehriz.
The domestic and foreign investment in the venture respectively amount to 30 billion rials (€585,500) and €23 million.
According to IRNA, once operational, the solar farm will generate over 58 million KW in a year.
Over 98,000 305-watt panels and 12 2,200-KW inverters are used in the plant.
The green plant will prevent the consumption of 4.17 mcm of gas, reduce the emission of 6,390 tons of greenhouse gases and the wastage of 6.13 million liters of water per annum.
The hot and dry climate in Yazd is ideal for harvesting solar energy. The city, 630 km southeast of Tehran, is situated between the two deserts of Dasht-e Kavir and Dasht-e Lut, the latter known as one of the hottest places on earth. The province has more than 300 sunny days throughout the year.
Domestic and foreign investors have shown interest in the construction of plants for producing 700 MW of solar energy in this province.
A 20-KW solar plant was launched in the Mahshahr Special Petrochemical Economic Zone in the city of Mahshahr, Khuzestan Province, on Thursday.
The pilot phase of the project is in line with the government's plan to increase the role of renewables in the industrial sector and state organizations.
Given Khuzestan's climate, renewable energy can be taken advantage of via wind farms and solar power plants to meet a great part of energy demand for home and industrial subscribers in the region.
According to IRNA, studies are being conducted to start a 100-KW venture in the region to meet the demands of organizational bodies. Trapping wind power is the top priority of the new scheme.
The renewable industry in Iran is among the slowest-growing sectors such that barely 600 MW in renewable power have come on stream over the past two decades, a trivial amount that makes up barely 0.7% of the total power capacity. The country's total power capacity stands at 80,000 MW, most of which are produced from thermal power plants that feed on fossil fuels.
Studies show that renewable investments in Iran are profitable. The Energy Ministry says it has plans for 1,000 MW of renewable capacity a year through 2022 with the help of the private sector.
According Ardakanian, foreign investors have so far finalized $12.3 billion worth of contracts in Iran’s power sector.