EghtesadOnline: Several water and power projects were inaugurated in central Yazd Province on Thursday.
Twenty power distribution and transmission projects, completed at the weekend, include feeder development, road lighting and power supply to rural areas in Meybod, Ashkezar, Abarkuh, Ardakan, Taft and Khatam counties, the Energy Ministry news portal Paven reported.
A 10-megawatt solar power plant came online in Fahraj rural district. Built on 20 hectares, the photovoltaic power station generates 16 gigawatt hours of electricity per annum, helping reduce water and fossil fuel consumption.
If this amount of energy was to be produced by thermal power plants, it would annually consume 5 million cubic meters of natural gas and 4,400 cubic meters of water, Financial Tribune reported.
The power plant will help cut 13,700 tons of greenhouse gases a year.
There are nine PV stations in Yazd producing 65.5 MW. Furthermore, 93 small-scale and rooftop installations in the desert province are linked to the national grid.
Another 17 solar projects with 300 MW capacity are underway. Estimated to cost $16 million, the new plants will join the grid by 2022.
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.
In the last six years private firms invested $28 million in solar power in the province with the government’s share in infrastructure expansion at $13 million.
The renewable industry in Iran is among the slowest-growing sectors and produces 760 MW of the total power capacity of 82,000 MW, most of which is produced from thermal power plants that use fossil fuels.
Two power plants with distributed generation systems started operation in the province -- an 8 MW power station in Meybod and another in Taft with 2 MW capacity.
Distributed generation or on-site generation refers to electricity produced in small quantities near the point of use, as alternative or supplement to traditional centralized grid-connected power.
It reduces the cost and complexities associated with transmission and distribution, while helping offset peak electricity demand and stabilize the local grid.
Projects to supply potable water to 73 villages across the province were also launched from which an estimated 36,500 people in Ashkezar, Abarkuh and Taft will benefit.
A new water disinfection system started work in Ardakan, Herat, Abarkuh and Zarch.
The system will ensure the inactivation of harmful organisms, prevent the formation of harmful compounds, and prevent contamination in worn out or damaged networks.
Yazd Province has a population of 1.13 million, 85% of which live in urban areas. It is one of Iran's known centers for textiles and famous also for factories making ceramics and construction material.
Yazd has a hot desert climate. It is the driest major city in Iran, with a yearly precipitation of 49 millimeters and only 23 days of rainfall. It also is the hottest city north of the Persian Gulf with summer temperatures normally hovering above 40 °C with no humidity.
A total of 136 major power and water projects are underway in the province costing $190 million. The projects are almost halfway through and are expected to be completed in two years.