Iran’s Manjil wind energy plant to come on stream by six months

The Manjil wind power plant will fully come on stream in six months, Yousef Armodeli, managing director of the Renewable Energy Organisation of Iran (SUNA), said on Tuesday.

“The power plants nominal capacity is 180MW,” the IRIB News Agency quoted Armodeli as saying.

“To complete the project, some 35 wind turbines need to be installed in the plant, out of which 10 are underway, and the other 25 will be set up in the next six months,” he explained.

It is while Ahmad Haqani, an official with the Renewable Energy Organisation of Iran (SUNA), had previously said that the Manjil wind power plant will fully come on stream by the end of current Iranian calendar year (March 19, 2013).

Iran currently produces 300 million kilowatt hours of electricity from wind power.

Wind power in Iran has been experiencing a growth in recent years. Iran has a plan to substantially increase wind generation each year and is the sole centre producing wind turbines in the Middle East.

In 2006, Iran generated 45 megawatts of electricity from wind power (ranked 30th in the world). This was a 40 per cent increase over 32 megawatts in 2005. Total wind generation in 2004 was 25 megawatts out of 33,000 megawatts total electrical generation capacity for the country.

In 2008, Iran’s wind power plants in the Manjil, in the Gilan province and Binaloud in the Razavi Khorasan province produce 128 megawatts of electricity. By 2009, Iran had a wind power capacity of 130 MW.

Iran is a member of the Global Wind Energy Council.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has approved drawing (EURO)500 million out of the National Development Fund to develop renewable energy projects, IRNA reported in May.

Deputy Energy Minister Mohammad Behzad told IRNA that the sum will be paid to small developers in the form of loans.

The National Development Fund – which is currently valued at $35 billion – was set up by Ahmadinejad’s government last year (March 2011-March 2012) to tap 20 percent of oil and gas revenues for social investment.

Iran is projected to export as much as 10 billion kilowatt hours (BkWh) of electricity in the current calendar year, compared to 8.6BkWh in the past year, Behzad added.

He noted that the value of electricity exports has increased by 40 percent since the beginning of this year, which began on March 20, in comparison to the year before.

A number of countries, including Pakistan, Turkey, India, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Armenia have signed new deals to boost electricity imports from Iran, he said.

According to Behzad, the Energy Ministry had prepared plans to increase electricity generation capacity of national power plants by 5GW this year.

“Over 10,000 megawatts should be added to the generation capacity of hydroelectric and thermal power plants by August 2013,” he explained.

By the end of the Fifth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2015), Iran will boost its electricity generation capacity by 25GW to reach 73GW, Energy Minister Majid Namjou said on February 7.

Iran currently exchanges electricity with Turkey, Armenia, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq.