EghtesadOnline: The first phase of Iran’ first geothermal power plant will be commissioned by the end of the current fiscal in March 2021, managing director of Thermal Power Plants Holding Company said.
Located near the city of Meshkinshahr in Ardebil Province, the plant has a total capacity of 55 megawatts. With 5 MW of electricity, the first phase will be operational next March, the Energy Ministry news portal Paven reported Mohsen Tarztalab as saying.
“More than $7 million has been spent so far,” he said, adding that eleven wells have been drilled on the site at a depth of 3,500 meters.
Almost 80% of the equipment including turbines and generators have been bought to the site, Tarztalab said.
Geothermal power plants use steam produced from reservoirs of hot water found hundreds of meters below the Earth's surface. The steam rotates a turbine that activates a generator that produces electricity.
Geothermal power is considered a renewable resource because its source is the unlimited amount of heat generated by the Earth's core.
Unlike thermal units that burn fossil fuel, geothermal plants produce little emissions. Carbon dioxide emission from geothermal power stations is less than 5% of conventional coal-fired plants.
Using geothermal also eliminates the need for mining, processing, and transportation required for electricity generation from fossil fuel.
Heat from the Earth, or geothermal energy is accessed by drilling water or steam wells in a process similar to drilling for oil.
The plant in Meshkinshahr will be expanded to provide geothermal power to areas in the northwestern province for domestic and industrial purposes.
With huge hydrocarbon reserves, Iran’s power industry is based largely on oil and gas.
Over the past years, it has strived to invest in renewables, which now account for less than 1,000 MW of the total 84,000 MW installed capacity.
The global geothermal power market is poised to grow by 41.49 terawatt hours during 2020-2024, progressing at a compound annual growth rate of over 8% during the forecast period.
The market is driven by the advantages of geothermal energy. In addition, technological advance in the geothermal industry is anticipated to boost the growth of this power sector.
Geothermal energy is emerging as one of the most reliable sources of renewable energy. It is gaining prominence over conventional and non-renewable sources of energy because of its eco-friendly nature and constant availability.
Geothermal reservoirs are replenished naturally and have massive potential for power generation, meeting the baseload demand for energy by generating up to 2 terawatts of power globally.
The use of geothermal resources in the generation of electricity will continue to increase due to the high-level efficiency and low maintenance costs.