Power Plans Progressing

Photovoltaic panels at Mokran Solar Power Complex
Photovoltaic panels at Mokran Solar Power Complex

In line with policies to expand power generation infrastructure, Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian launched a 20-megawatt photovoltaic power complex in Kerman Province on Thursday and broke ground on a major 100-MW solar plant as well as a 500-MW combined cycle power station in the province.

"Some 8,000 megawatts of new power production capacity have been added to the national grid in the last four years, of which 1,000 MW have come on stream in Kerman. Plans call for increasing the country's installed capacity of 76,000 MW by 5,000 MW per annum," Chitchian made the statement on the sidelines of a ceremony to launch the new solar complex named Mokran, ILNA reported.

According to Chitchian, renewables account for 420 MW of Iran's total installed capacity, indicating a 2.2% rise compared to 2013.

Pointing to the rapidly increasing number of renewable energy projects in Iran, the official said power generation capacity from renewable sources will reach 600 MW by March 2018.

"Attracting foreign investment to further speed up renewable ventures is a priority," Chitchian said, adding that companies from Germany, Switzerland, Spain, South Korea and China have made investments in Iranian power projects in the last two years.

The minister had announced earlier this month that foreign investors have submitted investment proposals worth $3.6 billion to develop renewable projects in Iran, without specifying a timeframe.

According to the minister, development of renewables is gaining impetus globally.

"Iran, an underdeveloped market for renewables by international standards, is devising plans not to trail behind the global trend in this key sector," he said.

 ----- Mokran Solar Farm

Chitchian cast the Mokran Solar Power Complex as one of the biggest accomplishments in Iran's renewable industry.

The plant, bankrolled and implemented by European companies, is made up of over 76,000 tiny photovoltaic cells with 260-watt capacity mounted on 27,000 metal poles in an area of about 44 hectares (440,000 sq. meters).

The launching ceremony on Thursday was attended by German Ambassador to Iran Michael Klor-Berchtold, Kerman Governor General Alireza Razm-Hosseini and managing director of the state-affiliated Renewable Energy Organization of Iran, Seyyed Mohammad Sadeqzadeh, in the city of Mahan.

Referring to the importance of joining hands with international energy majors to implement power plans, Chitchian noted that Switzerland-based firm Durion Energy AG, in collaboration with Germany's Adore GmbH, has developed the Mokran solar complex in six months with an investment of $27 million.

Klor-Berchtold noted that German companies are not only willing to increase investment and operations in Iran's industry, but are also keen on transferring their cutting-edge know-how to the Middle East nation.

Highlighting the improving bilateral economic ties since the lifting of sanctions in January 2016, the German ambassador hoped that cooperation between Iran and Germany on power projects will pave the way for other European investors to finance more mega projects in Iran.

----Mobile Power Plants

According to Mohsen Nikbakht, an advisor to the Thermal Power Plants Holding Company, the synchronization of a mobile power plant built by MAPNA Group with the national power grid in Noshahr and Behshahr counties in the northern Mazandaran Province has helped meet subscribers' demand in peak hours.

“The commissioning of such mobile power units is not only a practical solution to help meet peak-hour demand but also helps cut power companies' costs,” Nikbakht said.

The portable trailer-mounted 25-MW mobile turbines, enjoying a space-conscious design, can operate on different fuel sources, namely natural gas and diesel. They can be transported anywhere by land, air or sea for rapid deployment. Once installed, the gas turbine starts procuring power within 25 minutes.

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