EghtesadOnline: The steam unit of Kashan combined-cycle power plant in Isfahan Province came on stream Sunday.
With a capacity to produce 160 megawatts, the steam unit was built in three years and the plant is now connected to the national grid, managing director of Thermal Power Plants Holding Company said.
Two gas units of the plant, with a total capacity of 324 MW, have been operating since 2009. With the new steam unit the plant will generate 484 MW of electricity, ILNA quoted Mohsen Tarztalab as saying.
The rise in output is in line with policies of the Energy Ministry to increase installed power capacity by 5,000 MW by June, according to financial Tribune.
Electricity consumption reached a peak of 58,000 megawatts in summer and because some hydropower plants were not operating at full capacity (due to shortage of water in dams) sections of the population faced problems in power supply.
According to assessments, electricity consumption will increase by 8,000 MW next summer.
27 More Thermal Units
The Energy Ministry has planned to plug the gap by bringing 27 new thermal power units on stream and upgrading 23 others, which will add 5,000 MW to the overall power capacity.
The new units will be installed in power stations of Maku, Hormoz, Zahedan, Qeshm and Asalouyeh among others, and will come on stream by June.
In addition, 23 units at combined-cycle power plants are scheduled to get upgrades, Tarztalab said.
Iran meets almost 80% of its electricity demand from aging thermal plants operating for decades.
The Energy Ministry has decided to phase out inefficient power plants, improve the aging power infrastructure and move toward modern power production technology.
It is reported that steps have been taken to gradually convert the conventional plants into efficient combined-cycle units.
However, even if all the units go on stream and are upgraded, Iran will still face a deficit of 3,000 MW in the hot summer season.
Officials hope the shortages can be addressed by reducing consumption and if consumers uphold the values of judiciousness and doing more with less.
Changing Working Hours
A measure taken this summer was the change in working hours in state organizations. As state-owned buildings account for nearly 7% of total electricity use, the government planned to curb consumption with the help of changes in working hours.
Executive bodies were obliged to reduce consumption by 10% and the provinces, where average temperatures exceeded 45 degrees centigrade in summer, were allowed to change their official working hours.
The change was implemented in 11 provinces and staff started work at 6:30 a.m. instead of 7:30 and left one hour earlier. The measure resulted in decrease in power consumption by as much as 350 MW. However, even if the same program is repeated this year, it will not be able to make up for the 3,000 MW deficit.
Without the cooperation of households, which consume more than 50% of the electricity during peak hours, power outages will be a recurring feature.