EghtesadOnline: Installed power generation capacity from small-scale power stations in northern Mazandaran Province has reached 220 megawatts.
Managing director of the provincial electricity company, Hossein Afzali, made the statement in a ceremony to inaugurate a 7MW combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Amol County on Saturday, IRNA reported.
Babakan Power Plant, built over 2,000 square meters, comprises 8 heat engines, he said. The CHP cost $3.5 million and was built in collaboration with private firms.
The cogeneration plant comprises two gas generators with a capacity of 2 MW, two gas generators with 1.56 MW capacity, two transformers with capacity of 2 mega volt-amperes and two transformers with a capacity of 2.5 mega volt-amperes, Financial Tribune reported.
"It will assist in reducing power outages in the region as well as preserving sustainable power supply to the northern power grid."
Cogeneration or combined heat and power is the use of a heat engine or power station to generate electricity and useful heat at the same time. Cogeneration is an efficient use of fuel.
In conventional power plants, some energy is discarded as waste heat, but in cogeneration most of the thermal energy is put to use.
Afzali added that two more CHPs will be connected to the national grid by next March in Nour County in the major tourist province.
"Private investors in small-scale electricity generation plants can earn $1,200 by producing and selling a kilowatt of power."
Advantages of Small Plants
Small-scale electricity generation is slowly replacing big fossil-fuel driven plants, which currently are the world’s single largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Cogeneration has risen dramatically in the past 15 years, but is often overlooked in estimates of energy production. It comes in a variety of forms and can even use waste gases from agriculture and industrial production.
As part of efforts to boost electricity generation through cleaner energy, small-scale power plants can help protect the environment in the green province with a long Caspian Sea coastline.
The electricity official noted that establishing a major power plant with a capacity of 500 MW requires at least 50 hectares of land and 10-15 kilometers of gas pipelines to supply the plant that would ruin "large tracts of farmlands.”
This is while a 25 MW power plant occupies less than 0.3 hectares.
To build a big power plant the government should spend 15 trillion rials ($140 million) while a small-scale plant (25 MW or less) can be built with 500 billion rials ($4 million), he said.