Italian, Swiss Investors to Build Solar Plant in NE Iran

Italian, Swiss Investors to Build Solar Plant in NE Iran
Italian, Swiss Investors to Build Solar Plant in NE Iran

The Renewable Energy Organization of Iran (SUNA) and a group of investors from Switzerland and Italy have signed a contract to build a solar power plant in North Khorasan Province.

Following agreements with German firms for constructing solar plants in Iran, the government has decided to also work with the Swiss and Italians who have agreed to invest €40 million ($44 million) in Iran’s renewable energy sector, Mehr News Agency reported on Tuesday.

Based on the contract, the solar plant with 30 MW capacity will be wholly designed, built, installed and launched by the European firms.

Alireza Sabouri, managing director of North Khorasan Electric Distribution Company, said construction of the solar plant will commence in mid-August.

Sabouri added that SUNA has provided the foreign companies 60 hectares of land near a 400-kilovolt power station in the city of Jajrom to transfer its power output.

Pointing to a directive of the state-run Iran Power Generation, Distribution and Transmission Company on the optimal use of domestic equipment and facilities, the official stressed that except solar panels and inverters, all other parts and components of the solar project will be built and supplied by Iranian firms.

In line with its declared policy to promote investment in renewables, the government will buy the electricity from renewable plants at a tariff that is 17% above the regular price and will increase the tariff by an additional 30% if domestic equipment are used in building the plants.

Sabouri said the unnamed Swiss company has plans to gradually expand solar power infrastructure in Iran to 300 MW.

 German, UK, Italian Coop.   

The Energy Ministry and the British Photovoltaic Association (BPVA) signed a memorandum of understanding this month on construction of a huge 1000 MW solar power plant in Iran, IRNA reported.

According to Reza Sheybani, chairman of the BPVA, the agreement seeks not only to build a cutting-edge solar power plant at an estimated cost of $1.6 billion but also to establish a solar panel factory as well as transferring the much-needed technology to Iran.

In January, German investors voiced their interest in construction of a large solar power plant in Sagzi region in the central province of Isfahan.

Ashton J Flooring, a representative of one of the German companies, said in a conference in Isfahan, "The mega solar power project will supply electricity to 475,000 households for 30 years. The plan is among the largest solar projects in the world."

Italian energy company Carlo Maresca also will participate in building a 50-MW solar unit in Iran's Qeshm Island in the Persian Gulf.

Iran has a diverse climate of vast windy lands and more than 300 sunny days throughout the year, which makes it ideal for producing electricity from wind and solar energies, but its total output from renewables does not exceed a few hundred megawatts.

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 of 75,000 MW.