Iran opens combined cycle power plant; first to use gas and solar energy

May 17th, 2011 - 12:30 am ICT by BNO News  

TEHRAN, IRAN (BNO NEWS) — Iran on Monday inaugurated the Yazd combined cycle power plant which is the first one in the world to use natural gas and solar energy, the state-run IRNA news agency reported.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad opened the 484-megawatt power plant in the central city of Yazd. The construction of the facility cost approximately 300 million Euros ($426 million).

The combined cycle power plant will provide employment for an estimated 3,300 people. President Ahmadinejad also inaugurated a large steel factory in the nearby city of Ardakan.

The new facility is part of Iran’s long-term strategy to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy sources. In order to achieve this objective, the Islamic nation will build a number of power plants in the next few years.

According to Yousef Armoudeli, Managing-Director of Renewable Energies Organization of Iran (SANA), the Asian country is planning to generate 5,000 megawatts of electricity from renewable energy sources.

“SANA wants to a number of power plants to be built by the private sector to generate around 5,000MW of power through using renewable energy resources during the Fifth Five-Year Development Plan (2010-2015),” said Armoudeli.

The SABA director added that his agency has already signed a contract with a private company for the construction of a 1,000MW power plant which will use wind, biomass and solar energies.

Iran has recently increased its interest in renewable energy resources. Its first solar power plant was opened in 2009 in the southern city of Shiraz.

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