A Swiss company says it has signed a 750 million-euro ($839 million) deal with Iran to build a wind farm in the country’s mountainous north.
The project will have an installed capacity of 270 megawatts, Meci Group International chairman Jeremiah Josey told Bloomberg Wednesday. He said turbine testing is already happening onsite.
The project is being carried out under a five-year purchase agreement with Iran’s Energy Ministry. Josey expected the contract will be extended “once we prove ourselves.”
Meci will finance the project with a bond issue and equity partners. The company has also agreed to build a 100-megawatt combined heat and power plant that will burn natural gas, Bloomberg said.
According to Josey, Meci has a target to install 1,000 megawatts of clean power of solar and wind mix in Iran which he said is “at a very interesting point in history.”
“There is so much growth to be had. They can get through at least 20 years of technological catch-up in five years,” he said.
Josey said he expected to sign agreements for another 500 megawatts of renewable-energy plants once the wind farm progresses.
Iran has a significant renewable energy potential. Only the wind capacity is estimated at 30,000 megawatts.
The country has put together a package for $25 billion of investment in its booming power industry which is key to the country’s economic recovery, officials have said.
Home to the world's largest gas reserves, Iran is the biggest electricity producer in the Middle East and North Africa, operating mostly thermal and to a lesser extend hydro plants.
Officials say some 5,000 megawatts of additional power has to be produced a year to meet rising demand in the country of 80 million.
Iran currently produces 74,000 megawatts of electricity, but it plans to raise this to more than 120,000 MW within the next 10 years.
The government is eyeing renewables as the new alternative to fossil fuels which constitute about 90% of Iran’s energy mix.
Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian has said generating more green power at home would allow the country to export more of its fossil fuels abroad.
The government plans to install 5,000 MW of renewable capacity, putting Iran among the likes of the UK and France in this category. The Ministry of Energy is already implementing 500 MW wind converters and further 100 MW biomass projects.
The Middle East’s first geothermal power plant, a 50-megawatt pilot project, is being built at the foot of an inactive volcanic peak in northwest Meshguin Shahr.