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EghtesadOnline: A 10-megawatt solar power plant was launched in Kharameh County, Fars Province, on Friday by a domestic firm, marking the southern province's first-ever solar venture.

The photovoltaic project, costing 650 billion rials ($6.5 million), has joined the national grid in less than five months with a completely domestic design, IRNA reported.

However, this is just the initial phase of the plant with a nominal capacity of 130 MW per annum. Upon its completion by March 2019, the plant is projected to generate 250 MW each year.

The project, including financing, is carried out by Iran's Banian Sanat Persian Holding and domestic engineers, in collaboration with an unnamed German consulting firm, Financial Tribune reported.

The plan comes in line with the government's push on maximum utilization domestic potentials.

This is the holding's second major venture after its successful launch of a 10-MW solar farm in Ardakan in central Yazd Province. 

  Ongoing Ventures

Domestic firms are concurrently implementing three other solar ventures of the same size in the cities of Shiraz, Abadeh and Eqlid.

Eqlid and Abadeh plants are near completion and will come on stream in the coming days. The Shiraz plant is also in the final stage and will become operational  in the next two months.

The first two projects, each with an investment of 600 billion rials ($6 million), are under construction by the domestic Taban Company, an energy firm active in the renewable sector.

Over 120 experts, who graduated from Fars Province universities, are active in the two projects.

As per a deal with domestic firms, the government guarantees the purchase of electricity from solar plants for 20 years to promote and shore up investments in renewable energies.

  Unexploited Potential

Abdolaziz Karimi, the CEO of Fars Regional Electricity Company, said 240 agreements have been signed with energy firms to embark on solar ventures in the sunny province. 

Referring to the unexploited potential of the province in generating wind power, Karimi said large swathes of the region are suitable for producing renewables, particularly for setting up large solar farms.

“One of the main goals of the ministry is to move toward the use of non-fossil fuels and renewable energy. The progress of this is significant in Fars Province since it has the most solar potential,” he said. Iran is taking active steps toward boosting the country’s electrical power through renewables.

According to the ministry's experts, the country has acquired the know-how and capacity to manufacture almost all the equipment required for utilizing wind power.

The number of private companies generating power from renewable sources—mainly wind and solar—has soared from three to over 500 over the past five years.

Iran meets more than 80% of its electricity demand from thermal power plants that run on fossil fuels. Of the total 80,000 MW production capacity, only a meager amount of 640 MW go to renewables, of which 45% are generated by  wind farms.

According to the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Organization, a state-owned entity also known as Satba, plans are in place to launch 5,000 MW in new renewable capacity, including solar and wind, by 2022. Most recently, the country's largest wind farm, with a power generation capacity of 61.2 megawatts, was launched in Siyahpoosh region in Qazvin Province in mid-August.

Oil- and gas-rich Iran has also pledged to slow climate change by promoting cleaner energies. In December 2015, 195 nations, including Iran, signed an agreement at the Paris Climate Conference to move away from fossil fuels with a goal of limiting a rise in average global temperatures to well below 2 degrees Celsius.

Iran promised at the Paris Climate Conference to curtail greenhouse gas emissions by increasing power production from renewable sources to 7,500 MW by the end of next decade.


Iran solar power plant national grid Fars