Hybrid Solar, Wind Plant Launched in Iran

Hybrid Solar, Wind Plant Launched in Mazandaran
Hybrid Solar, Wind Plant Launched in Mazandaran

The first hybrid solar and wind power system in the northern Mazandaran Province was officially launched on Monday, a small-scale but important venture that could help reshape the region's power production landscape.

“The power plant has 3 kilowatts of power generation capacity, of which 2.5 kW are produced from wind energy and the rest is solar,” Qasem Shahabi, the managing director of Power Distribution Company of Mazandaran Province, was quoted as saying by ILNA.

The project, implemented at a cost 500 million rials (about $12,500), is located in the village of Melerd in Savadkouh County that is not connected to the national power grid.

On the sidelines of the inauguration ceremony, Shahabi noted that the hybrid power plant allows non-stop electricity supply with higher reliability.

“Such renewable power systems have advantages like generating power at the consumption area, less network wastage and the reduction of toxic gas emissions,” he added.

Referring to the adverse environmental impact of fossil fuels, the official said although about 80% of the global energy demand are still met by fossil fuels, renewable industry is "rapidly growing as it has little harm to the environment."

Shahabi noted that an increasing number of countries are phasing out thermal power plants in favor of new solar and wind projects. Iran's push in the power industry is buoyed by the rapidly growing interest of foreign companies in Iran's renewable industry.

According to Iran's Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Organization, international investors have proposed $4.1 billion worth of renewable power projects since last year's lifting of sanctions. They include a $2.9-billion preliminary agreement with Norway's Saga Energy and a $600-million contract with London-based Quercus to build solar plants in Iran.

Former energy minister, Hamid Chitchian, recently said power production from renewables has experienced a threefold rise since President Hassan Rouhani took office in mid-2013.

“The number of private companies generating power from renewable sources—mainly wind and solar—has soared from three to 490 over the last four years," Chitchian added.

Iran meets more than 80% of its electricity demand from thermal power plants that run on fossil fuels while renewables account for a meager 420 megawatts, or less than 1% of its energy mix.

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