EghtesadOnline: Construction of the 10 megawatt solar farm in Bafq County, Yazd Province, has shown 49% progress, the Bafq governor said.
“Built on 20 hectares in Kushk village in the central dry region, the solar farm is expected to come on stream by summer,” IRNA quoted Mehdi Talaei Moqaddam as saying.
“When operational, the farm will provide electricity to urban and rural areas in the county,” Talaei Moqaddam said. The farm is designed to generate 20 million kilowatt hours of electricity per annum.
If the same amount of power was to be produced by a thermal power station, it would annually consume at least 5 million cubic meters of natural gas.
The project is an undertaking of the Ghadir Energy Investment Company, which has invested $4 million.
The privately-owned company has built solar farms in Qom and Isfahan as well as Mehriz County in Yazd in recent years.
Solar farms have several advantages compared to thermal power stations as they can be set up almost anywhere and reduces the need for costly transmission and distribution systems, he said, adding that solar is environment friendly.
With around 50,000 residents, Bafq City is located 110 kilometers southeast of Yazd City. According to Yazd Governor Mohammad Ali Talebi, there is plenty of scope for private enterprise in the solar industry.
In the past seven years private firms have invested almost $28 million in solar in the desert province while the government has spent $13 million.
“Eliminating infrastructure barriers to investment in deprived and less privileged areas, including Behabad and Khatam counties, is among the province's development plans,” he said.
There are currently seven solar power stations in Yazd that produce 58.5 MW. Twenty more solar projects with 340-MW capacity are in different stages of construction in the hot and dry region. The new units are estimated to cost $16 million and will be completed by 2022.
Yazd has the highest solar power output in Iran. With 330 sunny days and 3,200 plus sunlight hours in a year, the ancient and historic city is the place for harnessing solar power. It straddles the oasis where two deserts meet, namely Dasht-e-Kavir and Dasht-e-Lut, the latter being one of the hottest places on Earth.
Iran’s renewable industry is among the slowest-growing sectors and generates less than 1,000 MW of the 86,000 MW produced largely by thermal plants feeding on fossil fuels.
Solar radiation in Iran is estimated at about 1,800 to 2,200 kilowatts-hours per cubic meter annually, which is higher than the global average.
Studies show renewable investments in Iran are profitable. The Energy Ministry says it has plans to raise annual renewable energy output to 5,000 MW in four years with the participation of private companies.