Since the dropping of international sanctions against Iran earlier in 2016, the country has come under the spotlight from PV investors that are eager to take advantage of Irans abundant resources and renewed motivation for clean energy. There have been tentative steps taken for the development of solar PV projects within the country, but now the news of a fully integrated PV manufacturing facility being developed in the country shows that the market might be beginning to heat up.
The announcement was made by SCHMID Group, who says it has agreed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Industrial Development & Renovation Organization of Iran (IDRO) to develop the site and produce PV modules within the country. The fully integrated site has the ambitious goal of including the full PV value chain, from polysilicon production, through to wafer production, all the way to module manufacturing.
The German company claims that it will be one of the most advanced integrated PV manufacturing facilities in the world, with an initial annual production capacity of 200 MW, and an eventual goal to reach a capacity of more than 1000 MW per year.
We are proud to start collaboration with a respected organization like IDRO and consider this agreement as an excellent opportunity to establish a long term partnership in an important PV future market, said SCHMID Group President and CEO, Christian Schmid. The fully integrated manufacturing facility together with the excellent academic infrastructure in Iran will enable an ideal PV research and development hub in Iran and the joint R&D collaboration will be an integral part for our partnership with IDRO.
Exciting time for PV in Iran
The announcement comes at a time when the potential for solar PV in Iran is beginning to be explored, after the lifting of U.S. and EU sanctions against the country, alongside a growing interest and enthusiasm in renewable energies within the country. This increase in interest culminated in the introduction of new, more attractive, feed-in tariffs and PPAs for renewable energies, including PV.
However, the plan to increase the share of renewable energies within Irans energy mix has also seen an emphasis on local production and technology ownership, which was reflected within the FiTs that offer bonuses for plants that utilize locally produced equipment. The facility being developed by SCHMID Group will fit in to this model, as once it is up and running the entire modules will be produced within Iran.
As an industrial development organization, IDRO is leading establishments of new industries in Iran and has decided for investment in solar photovoltaics manufacturing value chain, said Deputy Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade & IDRO Chairman of the board, Dr. Mansour Moazami. Our investment is based on a technology transfer and development framework targeting local and global PV markets.