Micro-Hydro Plants Expanding

Micro-Hydro Plants ExpandingMicro-Hydro Plants Expanding

The establishment of micro-hydro plants is underway in 13 Iranian provinces, with the Energy Ministry planning to localize and expand the micro-hydro technology, an official at the Energy Ministry said on Wednesday.

Reza Aghajani added that 60 micro-hydro installations will be built and many dams nationwide are in line to deploy the technology to produce electricity locally and cut dependence on the national power grid, Mehr News Agency reported.

Aghajani added that a majority of these plants will be implemented on the foothill of Zagros Mountain Range–stretching from northwest Iran to the country's western border through Kohgilouyeh-Boyerahmad, Fars, Bushehr and Hormozgan provinces—as well as Alborz Mountain Range that stretches along the Caspian Sea.

Micro-hydro power is the small-scale harnessing of energy from falling water, such as steep mountain rivers. Using this renewable, indigenous, non-polluting resource, the hydropower plants can generate electricity for homes, hospitals, schools and workshops.

Unlike traditional power stations that use fossil fuels, micro-hydro generators practically leave no negative impact on the environment. Since they do not depend on dams to store and direct water, they are also better for the environment than large-scale hydroelectric stations.

According to reports, it costs around $30,000 to establish a micro-hydro system in Iran. Currently, a micro-hydro plant with an output of 33 kilowatts is operating at Qal-e Chai Dam in East Azarbaijan Province.

Micro-hydro systems can complement photovoltaic solar energy systems since in many areas, water flow and the resulting hydropower is highest in winter when solar energy is at a minimum.