EghtesadOnline: Seventy power projects will be operational in Yazd Province by the end of February, managing director of Yazd Regional Electricity Company said Saturday.
“The projects include electricity supply to villages, improving and renovating power networks and providing lighting in urban and rural areas,” Mohammad-Hassan Sabbaghzadegan was quoted as saying by the Energy Ministry news portal Paven.
Completed at the cost of $1.5 million, the projects will have an important role in stabilizing the power grid and increasing consumers in the central province, he said.
“All the villages with more than 10 households in the province are now connected to the electricity network.”
According to Financial Tribune, four decades ago 52 villages in Yazd had access to electricity, but the number is 922 at present – indicating an 18-fold increas.
The number of electricity consumers in the central province is shot up 10 times compared to 40 years ago. While there were 66,000 consumers in Yazd in 1979, now over 660,000 people have stable electricity supply.
During the first nine months of the current fiscal (ends in March), over 11 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity was generated in the desert province -- up 23.4% compared to the corresponding period last year, the official said.
More than 73% of the provincial power output is consumed in the key industrial sector.
Yazd Province has huge potential for photovoltaic power with more than 330 sunny days per year.
Referring to Yazd's first rank in developing solar power, Sabbaghzadegan said: "Seven solar farms with a capacity of 58 MW are operating in the province. This capacity is planned to reach 70 MW before the fiscal is out in March.”
Moreover, 41 private companies are in the process of acquiring permits for construction of solar power plants, he added.
The hot and dry climate in Yazd is ideal for 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.
Yazd also is at the crossroads of several provinces, which makes it a preferred choice for electricity production and distribution.
According to Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian, the share of renewables in Iran’s energy mix is 1,000 MW from the total 82,000 MW installed power generation capacity.
Renewable industry in Iran is among the slowest growing sectors and the bulk of electricity is produced from thermal power plants.
However, recent studies show that renewable investments have been profitable. The Energy Ministry says it has plans for 5,000 MW of renewable capacity by 2022 with the help of private companies.