The first-ever solar and wind power plant with the capacity of generating two megawatts of electricity was put into service at the industrial park in western Herat province on Sunday. Water and Energy Minster Ali Ahmad Osmani, who inaugurated the plant, termed the $3.5 million project as “a biggest one” in Afghanistan.
He said the plant would produce two megawatts of power. The solar panels would produce 1,700 kilowatts while the wind turbines would generate 300 kilowatts, he added.
He said nearly 15,000 families would benefit from the plant-generated electricity. The complex on 40 acres of land contained 5,320 solar panels and three wind turbines.
Osmani expressed gratitude to Japan, which funded the project. According to the minister, the plant will benefit 100 small factories in the industrial town of Herat city, the provincial capital, as well.
He said the new plant would help reduce reliance on power imported from neighboring countries. He said similar projects would be carried out in various provinces in the next few months.
Amanullah Ghalib, Da Afghanistan Breshna Shirkat (DABS) general director, said: “It is for the first time a power plant has been connected to Herat city’s electricity network. This will help us pay $400,000 less than the cost of the imported power annually.”
Some provincial council members and Herat residents welcomed the project and expressed their happiness. They hoped more such projects would be launched across the country to shun reliance on imported power.