EghtesadOnline: By the end of the current Persian calendar year next March, 11 small-scale power plants with distributed generation systems will come on stream in Mazandaran Province, a deputy governor said.
With over $26.6 million in private investments, the power stations are under construction in different cities of the northern region, Hassan Kheirianpour was reported as saying by Bargh News.
“Mazandaran has 22 small-scale power plants producing 245 megawatts,” he said. When operational, the new units will add over 120 MW to the capacity.
“It ranks first among all provinces in investment in small power plants,” the official noted.
The projects will help reduce outages in the region as well as preserve sustainable supply to the power grid.
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.
As part of efforts to boost electricity generation through cleaner energy, small-scale power plants help protect the environment in the green province of Mazandaran with a long Caspian Sea coastline.
The government is trying to forge partnerships with private companies by offering incentives to expand electricity generation. The Energy Ministry guarantees the purchase of electricity generated by small-scale plants for five years.
Private investors in small-scale electricity generation plants can earn $1,200 from producing and selling a kilowatt of power.
Establishing a major power plant with 500 MW capacity requires at least 50 hectares of land and 10-15 kilometers of gas pipelines to supply the plant that will ruin large tracts of farmlands. This is while a 25 MW power plant needs less than 0.3 hectares.
To build a big power plant the government should spend 15 trillion rials ($50 million) while a small plant (25 MW or less) can be built with 500 billion rials ($1.6 million).
Distributed 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 complexity associated with transmission and distribution, while offsetting peak electricity demand and stabilizing the local grid. Most small-scale units in Iran are powered by diesel.
Due to rising demand, production of DG power plants has increased 21% compared to last year.
Electricity production generated with the help of DG systems has risen by over 170 MW and surpassed 800 megawatts.
Several small-scale power plants with DG system joined the national grid last year in Kerman, Zanjan, Yazd and Khuzestan provinces.