Iran to launch largest solar plant in the Middle East

Oct 21, 2011 12:00 AM

The head of Iran's Renewable Energy Organization (SUNA) has announced the country's plan for the launch of the largest solar power plant in the Middle East by 2015.
SUNA chief Yousef Armodeli said that the solar power plant in Shiraz, the provincial capital of the southern province of Fars, will come on stream by the end of the Fifth Five-Year development Plan (2010-2015). Armodeli also said that the pilot plant for harnessing solar energy was installed and launched in Shiraz during the Fourth Five-Year Development Plan (2005-2010).

Nearly 80 % of the solar power plant in Shiraz, the first in Iran and the largest in the Middle East, has been built by local Iranian experts.
The Islamic Republic has made great strides in generating energy from renewable sources, mainly solar and wind power. In May, Iran launched a 484-MW solar thermal combined cycle power plant in the central Iranian province of Yazd.

The solar thermal combined cycle power plant is the world's first combined cycle plant that uses natural gas and solar energy.
Iran is the 16th producer of electricity in the world and is working to achieve sustainable development in the field of renewable energy. Earlier in June, Iran's Energy Minister Majid Namjou said Iran has plans to generate more than 5,000 MW of electricity from renewable energy resources by 2015.

Namjou added that renewable energies would account for about 3 % of Iran's electricity needs by 2015.

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