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EghtesadOnline: The first unit of Sardasht Hydroelectric Power Plant in Sardasht County, West Azarbaijan Province, will go on stream by the weekend, the managing director of Iran Water and Power Resources Development Company said on Monday.

Sardasht Dam, constructed on Little Zab River began taking in water in June 2017. Now after two years, the power plant adjacent to it is set to become operational. “The first unit has a production capacity of 50 megawatts and the other two units will be launched by the end of August,” ISNA quoted Behrouz Moradi as saying.

When fully operational, the hydroelectric power station will have an installed capacity of 150 MW and is expected to generate 421 gigawatt-hours of electricity annually.

Domestic producers have provided over 60% of the plant equipment and the rest has been imported from China, according to Financial Tribune.

The launch of Sardasht power plant will be in line with efforts to boost electricity generation from non-fossil fuel sources, such as hydropower, and reduce harmful emissions. The dam has a capacity of 380 million cubic meters of water.

“Hydropower constitutes almost 15%, or about 12,000 MW of Iran’s total installed power capacity of 81,000 MW,” Moradi said.

Oil- and gas-rich Iran relies on fossil fuel power stations to meet more than 80% of its electricity demand.

Referring to other water development plans, the company’s managing director said 120 projects are underway in 12 provinces.



Reducing Rate of Evaporation

Moradi also said the company is negotiating with various institutions and centers to reduce loss of water stored in the dams through evaporation.

Dams and their associated reservoirs provide many services, including water storage, hydropower and flood protection. However, they evaporate more water than the natural surface water flow before the dam was built, because dams generally increase the surface area of the body of water.

It means more water is exposed to air and direct sunlight, thus increasing evaporation. This “lost” water is referred to as consumed, because it is removed from the system. In some cases, this water consumption can be quite substantial.

“There are some dams in the country, where the evaporation rate is 15-20%, especially those located on the central plateau of Iran,” he said.

Chemicals capable of forming a thin mono-molecular film have been found to be effective for reducing evaporation loss from water surface. The film so formed reflects energy inputs from atmosphere, as a result of which evaporation loss is reduced.

“One of the solutions to reduce the evaporation rate by using artificial substances as a membrane on the water surface. But since the water in the dams is used for drinking, the relevant health organizations must approve the safety of these substances,” he added.

Evaporation can also be reduced by creating some sort of a barrier between the water and air.

“Another suggested solution is to install floating solar panels on the dams, which can both generate electricity and reduce the amount of evaporation. It is likely that we choose Karun 4 Dam on Karun River, located 180 km southwest of Shahr-e Kord City in Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari Province, as a pilot project in the near future,” he said.


Iran West Azarbaijan Sardasht hydroelectric power plant Nat’l Grid Sardasht County