Solar Plant for Zahedan

Solar Plant for Zahedan
Solar Plant for Zahedan

Iran is to build the biggest photovoltaic power plant in the Middle East with a capacity of 20 megawatts, a member of the board of the Iranian Wind Energy Association, Gholamreza Sargolzaei said.

Located 8km off Zahedan, in southern Sistan and Baluchestan Province, the plant will be built over an area covering 50 hectares with the help of advanced European technology.

The new power plant will be the first and the biggest of its kind in Iran and the region, IRNA reported. Construction of phase 1 of the plant is due for completion by next autumn while phase 2 will come on stream a year later.

Iran's Bank of Industry and Mine is a major investor in the project. Zahedan has a hot desert climate with very hot summers and cool winters, making the city a suitable area for the production of solar energy.

Sargolzaei pointed to the measures taken for the construction of the power plant, namely obtaining environmental permit, feasibility studies, permission to be connected to the provincial electricity grid, and finally, funding. Photovoltaic (solar electric) plants generate electricity directly from sunlight via an electronic process that occurs naturally in certain types of material, called semiconductors.

Electrons in these materials are freed by solar energy and can be induced to travel through an electrical circuit, powering electrical devices or sending electricity to the grid.

Absence of sound pollution, a lack of need for water, reducing energy expenses and low maintenance costs are among advantages of photovoltaic power plants. In recent years an increasing number of environmentalists, pointing to the disadvantages of fossil fuels and their use in power generation, have been calling on the government to gradually shift to cleaner energy and help protect the environment.

The government hopes to produce 5,000 megawatts from renewable resources within two years and plans to target rural communities who have been largely cut off from government services.

Under President Hassan Rouhani, the government’s budget for solar implementation has risen five-fold this year, to $60 million, up from just $12 million last year.