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Inside Middle East Wind - Iran steps up wind energy with 80 wind turbines

“Iran, due to its excellent geographical position, can benefit enormously from wind energy as a reliable source”

The Renewable Energy Organization of Iran (SUNA) will buy 80 wind turbines this year for power generation, SUNA’s Iraj Hersini says. The southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan province is the primary candidate site, with other places also being considered as likely locations for establishing a wind farm, he said. “Iran, due to its excellent geographical position, can benefit enormously from wind energy as a reliable source,” he said.

Tapping wind energy would help Iran cut use of fossil fuels because most of the country’s power generation plants are operated by gas and oil products, he said. Moreover, the use of wind turbines is strategically important in passive defense configurations because they are scattered over a vast area of land, Press TV reported.

Besides Sistan-Baluchestan, Iranian provinces of Azabaijan as well as Qazvin, Semnan and Khorasan are ideally positioned to set up wind parks, he said. More than 200 wind turbines are currently operating in Manjil in northern Iran, which generated 300 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of power last year, Hersini said.

The official said SUNA is open to cooperation with investors and supporting them to set up wind parks. “Participation of big industries and the private sector in establishing wind farms can cut energy consumption in the industry sector and, besides reducing costs, protect the environment,” Hersini said.

Iran built its first wind farm with a capacity to produce 2.5 MW in the northern Qazvin province last year. Deputy Energy Minister Houshang Fallahian said last week the country will soon join the club of few nations capable of fully building a wind power plant. Iran is the biggest generator of electricity in the Middle East where it produced 277 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of power last year, head of the Tavanir national power grid Arash Kordi said recently.

The country mainly operates hydroelectric, gas and combined cycle power plants but it plugged its first nuclear power plant into the national grid in September 2011. It has also dabbled in a few solar and thermal power generation projects. Fallahian says Iran has started building new power stations to generate 10,000 megawatts of electricity at a cost of six billion euros.

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