Italian firm signs solar plant deal with Iran

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Italian firm signs solar plant deal with Iran

Italy’s Carlo Maresca on Saturday signed a $100-million contract with the Iranian organization to construct a solar power plant near Garmsar Special Economic Zone in the central province of Semnan.

As per the deal, a 100-megawatt will be built on a 2,000-hectare area within 15 months, IDRO’s official website reported.

Carlo Maresca is currently working on the development of a 10-megawatt solar power plant in Qeshm Free Trade Zone in Hormuzgan. The first phase of the power plant was launched last week during President Hassan Rouhani’s travel to the southern province of Hormuzgan.

The zone can be reached via major highways, roads and rail, which is an ideal opportunity for the optimum development of the area.

An Iranian Deputy Energy Minister had recently noted that Iran plans to develop a capacity of more than 1.1 thousand megawatts in renewable sources of energy.

He said renewable forms of energy are inexpensive in Iran, so much so that the generation of one kilowatt hours of solar power costs only four cents. He noted the figure is expected to drop to three cents by 2020 and two cents and less in the following years.

Iran is the most advanced in its development of renewable energy, mostly due to its past investments in hydropower schemes.

Lately, however, it has been taking big strides in terms of wind and solar power, with a slew of new projects announced over the past few months.

The largest to date was unveiled on October 17 when Norway’s Saga Energy signed a €2.5-billion ($2.9-billion) deal with the state-owned Amin Energy Developers to build a solar power plant with generating capacity of up to 2 GW over the next five years.

The deal is typical of many of the renewable energy deals in Iran in that it is a European company making the investment.

Among other recent examples, Norway’s Scatec Solar has said it is in talks to build a 110-MW solar power plant, worth around $132 million; it could expand it to 500 MW at a later date. In addition, Hashem Oraee, president of the Iran Wind Energy Association (IRWEA), recently told local media that Danish companies are ready to invest as much as $1 billion in renewable energy projects in Iran.

It is not just Nordic countries which are getting involved. In September, the UK renewables investor Quercus signed a deal worth over half a billion euros to build and operate a 600-megawatt (MW) solar farm in Iran.

The work located in central Iran is expected to take three years, with the project coming online in 100 MW phases every six months, Quercus said of its first project outside Europe.

The planned 600-megawatt (MW) plant, located in central Iran, will be the sixth largest globally, behind projects of up to 1.5 gigawatts (GW) in China and India.

Diego Biasi, chief executive of Quercus, which has a track record of investing in renewable energy in Europe, told Reuters at the time that the firm had decided to go for such a big project to get an endorsement from Iran’s Ministry of Energy.



Local media have linked Germany’s Solarwatt and Italy’s Finergy Company to other schemes. In June, a delegation of seven German renewable energy companies toured North Khorasan Province to examine potential sites for solar and wind power projects.

Germany has built five solar power plants in Hamedan Province. ATUS is the second biggest manufacturer and provider of solar power systems in the world.

Some smaller projects are already at or near completion. In late July, work was completed on the 20MW Mokran solar power plant in Kerman Province, backed by a joint venture of Germany’s Adore and Switzerland’s Durion.

The companies are planning a 100 MW solar plant for an adjoining site. In April, Iran’s Ghadir Electricity and Energy Company and Greece’s Metka announced they had completed a 10 MW plant close to Isfahan. In February another 14 MW solar plant was unveiled in Hamedan, in the west of the country.

In total, these deals are adding up to many billions of dollars of investment into the Iranian economy.

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