Plan to Boost Electricity Swap With Moscow

Plan to Boost Electricity Swap With MoscowPlan to Boost Electricity Swap With Moscow

Russia is ready to swap 1,000 megawatts of electricity with Iran, as the two countries plan to boost electricity exchange to 2,000 MW by 2019, managing director of Iran Power Generation, Distribution and Transmission Company (Tavanir) announced on Wednesday.

Stressing that power export requires suitable infrastructure, Arash Kordi told ISNA, “For the countries with which Iran has no border, we have to supply power via countries situated in between. Thus the status of these countries is of high importance for us.”

He noted that Iran and Russia are in talks to swap electricity via Azerbaijan, Georgia or Armenia, adding that the two sides are expected to reach a deal in the next 45 days.

According to Mehr News Agency, Iran, Russia, Armenia and Georgia reached a memorandum of understanding last year to synchronize their power grids by 2019, paving the way for electricity exchange between Tehran and Moscow as part of their expansive plans to boost cooperation in the post-sanctions period.

A brief look at the map suggests the plan can be carried out entirely through Azerbaijan, as the country boasts the shortest route between Iranian and Russian borders.

However, the synchronization project involves factors that complicate its execution. To begin with, neither party has outlined a financial framework or a timetable to carry out the plan in its territory; add to that the political and economic instability in the region that could drastically shift the dynamics of the present agreement.

Arash Kordi also said in December 2015 that Iran's electricity exports will be doubled from the current 10 billion kilowatt-hours, which generate $600 million in annual revenues, to 20-25 billion kWh per year by 2020, Shana reported.

Iran is the largest electricity producer in the Middle East and 14th in the world in terms of installed power capacity.

On the export of electricity to neighboring countries, Kordi said after meeting domestic demand, which is Iran’s highest priority, it considers power export to neighboring states.

Nominal power generation capacity stands at around 74,000 MW nationwide, with 61,000 MW coming from thermal power plants, 12,000 MW from hydroelectric plants and only 1,000 MW from nuclear power.

Plans call for raising power production capacity by 50,000 megawatts in 10 years and boosting the country's installed power capacity to more than 120,000 MW.  

In addition, plans call for raising power output from renewables to 1,000 MW by 2021. To expand renewables infrastructure, Iran has turned to European powerhouse Germany that produces 90,000 MW from renewables, more than Iran's total power generation capacity.