EghtesadOnline: Power consumption in Yazd Province with a population of around 1.2 million has risen 57 times over the last four decades, managing director of Yazd Regional Electricity Company said.
“Consumption in the province reached 9.5 billion kilowatt hours in 2018 – up 5,000% compared to 1979 when it was 168 million kWh,” ISNA quoted Mohammad Hassan Sabbaghzadegan as saying.
The load in summer barely reached 45 megawatts during peak hours in 1979 when the population was about 400,000. It surpassed 1,700 MW in 2019, up 3,700%, Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.
Regarding the length of transmission and distribution lines, he said 40 years ago the grid length was 150 kilometers. Now it stretches over 3,500 km.
According to the official, 18 power plants with distributed generation (DG) system (157 MW capacity) became operational in the desert region between 2012 and 2019.
Sabbaghzadegan went on to say that 7 photovoltaic power stations are generating 60 MW of electricity in the industrial province and 17 more solar projects with 300 MW capacity are underway. Estimated to cost $16 million, the new plants are to join the grid by 2022.
“Thirteen power projects were undertaken in Meybod, Ashkezar, Abarkuh, Ardakan, Taft and Khatam counties in 2019, the last of which was a 10 MW solar power plant that came online in Fahraj rural district.” The PV station generates 16 gigawatt hours of electricity per annum and helps reduce water and fossil fuel consumption. The power plant will help cut 13,700 tons of greenhouse gases a year.
Fit for Solar
The hot and dry climate in Yazd, recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2017, 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 in central Iran with government share in infrastructure expansion at $13 million.
The official aid industries account for 75% of power consumption in the hot and dry province.
Yazd is one of Iran's known centers for textiles and is famous also for producing ceramics and construction material.
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 reaching over 40°C in blazing sunshine and no humidity.