Construction begins on 30 MW solar plant in Iran

Iran’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Organization (SATBA) which is the authority in charge of implementing the country’s renewable energy program, has announced that another large-scale PV project is currently under construction, a 30 MW ground-mounted PV plant in the northeastern province of North Khorasan.

The SATBA said that the ground-breaking ceremony for the project was also attended by the country’s minister of energy Hamid Chitchian without providing further details about the project.

Local newspaper Iran Daily, however, reports that the €37.5 million ($44 million) project is being developed by Switzerland’s Ecofinance with the support of unspecified Spanish, German and Italian companies.

Iran’s Renewable Energy Organization (SUNA), which was the agency in charge for the renewable energy program until last spring, granted the Swiss developer 60 hectares of land near a 400-kilovolt power station in the city of Jajrom for the project. According to Alireza Sabouri, the managing director of North Khorasan Electric Distribution Company, to which the plant will sell its power output, Ecofinance is planning to gradually deploy around 300 MW of PV capacity in Iran.

In its press release, SATBA specified that Iran’s current operational PV capacity consists of two 7 MW PV plants in Hamedan and one 10 MW power plant in Isfahan. Furthermore, the authority said, there is another 7 MW power plant in Hamedan and 20 MW power plant in kerman which will be operational in “ the near future”.

The two 7 MW installations in Hamedan were built with the help of German based project developer Athos Solar. The costs of the project, almost $21m, were financed entirely by equity from Athos as an investor.

Currently the country has around 32 MW of installed PV power. This comes from the above-mentioned three large-scale PV plants and several residential and commercial PV systems installed under net metering.