Iran to launch largest Middle East solar energy plant

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), Mehr news agency reported on Friday.

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 percent 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 energy and wind power.

In May, Iran launched a 484-megawatt concentrating solar thermal power combined cycle power plant in the central Iranian province of Yazd.

The concentrated solar thermal power 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 megawatts of electricity from renewable energy resources by 2015. Namjou added that renewable energies would account for about three percent of Iran’s electricity needs by 2015.