EghtesadOnline: Solar power production in central Yazd Province will reach 100 megawatts by the end of this fiscal year in March, managing director of Yazd Regional Electricity Company said.
“There are seven solar power plants in the province producing 58.5 MW. Three more photovoltaic stations are being constructed that upon completion by the yearend will add 41.5 MW to the provincial capacity,” the Energy Ministry news portal Paven quoted Mohammad Hassan Sabbaghzadegan as saying.
Another 18 solar projects with total capacity of 310 MW are underway. These are estimated to cost $16 million and will join the grid by 2022, Financial Tribune reported.
“Extensive efforts are being made to promote renewable and green energy. Now Yazd has the highest solar power output in the country.”
With over 3,200 sunny hours throughout the year, the historical city is highly suitable for harnessing solar power.
“One of the prominent features of the province is that in some regions including Chahak Rural district in Khatam County, the entire electricity is supplied through solar power from 10 am to 4 pm -- the peak electricity demand hours in the arid province,” Sabbaghzadegan was quoted as saying.
In the past six years private firms have invested $28 million in solar power in the province and the government’s share in expanding infrastructure has been $13 million.
Regarding the power grid in the province, the official said because almost 75% of the power is used by industries, Yazd is considered an industrial province. Despite the fact that electricity consumption of industries is very high, Yazd has one of the most stable power networks in the country.
Yazd is one of Iran's known centers for textiles and is famous also for producing ceramics and construction material. It has a hot desert climate. It is the driest major city with yearly precipitation of barely 49 millimeters and only 23 days of rainfall, which is also the hottest city north of the Persian Gulf, with summer temperatures frequently reaching over 40°C in blazing sunshine and no humidity.
Even at night summer temperatures are rather uncomfortable. In winter, the days are mild and sunny, but in the morning the thin air and low cloudiness cause cold temperatures that can sometimes fall well below 0°C.
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 in a year.
Solar radiation in Iran is estimated at about 1,800 to 2,200 kilowatts-hours per cubic meter annually, which is higher than the global average.
The renewable industry is among the slowest-growing sectors and produces 730 MW of the total power capacity of 81,000 MW, most of which is 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 output a year through 2022, albeit with the participation of private enterprise.