EghtesadOnline: The largest solar panel manufacturing plant in Iran will be launched in Ardabil Province early next year (starts March 2021), the governor said Thursday.
“Built by a private company, the factory has so far cost $40 million,” IRNA quoted Akbar Behnamjou as saying.
“The generation capacity of the plant’s annual production of solar panels will be 250 megawatts. The facility will meet total domestic demand for panels inside the country while 80% of its products will be exported,” he added.
When inaugurated, 400 engineers will work at the factory, the governor noted. On Thursday, two solar power plants, with a total capacity of 1.7 megawatts and a 230 kV substation were launched in Ardabil.
The photovoltaic power stations have been built to help strengthen the electricity distribution, curb fuel consumption and produce clean energy, while the substation will strengthen the transmission network in the northwestern province.
Costing $8.5 million, the projects help supply electricity to 10,000 households in rural areas. Shift to solar from fossil fuel for electricity generation helps save water, protects the environment and ensures sustainable supplies.
Iran meets more than 80% of its electricity demand from thermal power plants that run on fossil fuels. Of the total 84,000 MW capacity, 854 MW is from renewables.
Besides large solar power plants, 4,100 rooftop PV units operate across the country, mostly in the rural and underprivileged areas.
According to declared programs, 1,000 more small-scale PV stations will be installed by the end of the fiscal year to underpin power supply stability and reduce waste.
Almost 85% of the equipment used in solar power plants has been indigenized, thanks to the concerted efforts of Iranian engineers and knowledge-based companies.
As an intensive to encourage companies of households to use solar power, the government guarantees the purchase of the power generated by solar producers for 20 years. And the price is 30% higher if locally-made panels are used.
The tariff is 4.9 cents per kilowatt hour for photovoltaic power stations, which will reach 6.4 cents per kWh if the plants are equipped with domestic panels.
Solar power is becoming an increasingly important part of the planet's energy mix. In Iran, the government offers incentives to shore up solar energy generation from large-scale photovoltaic stations to solar panels on rooftops to expedite the shift from fossil fuels to renewables.
Private companies have invested around $1 billion in the renewable sector, mainly solar and wind. Due to government funding constraints, private firms have been asked to play a bigger role in promoting clean energy.
With more than 300 sunny days throughout the year, Iran has huge potential to expand its solar energy production. Using solar power is an important part of the government’s program to raise renewable capacity to 5,000 MW by 2022.