1231 GMT February 21, 2020
“German ATUS Company has already made and installed four solar power plants in Hamadan and is now making the fifth one,” said Naser Mahmoudi, IRNA reported.
The investment of the plant is totally foreign, he added.
ATUS is the second biggest manufacturer and provider of solar power systems in the world.
Iran in recent months has signed several agreements with foreign companies for establishing solar panels’ manufacturing plants in the country, in a bid to increase the share of home-made photovoltaic panels in its growing solar energy sector.
The measures are important, given the fact that the country plans to increase the share of renewable energy from power output from current level of 0.41 percent (or 322 MW) to 10 percent by 2050.
According to Azer News, in December, it is announced that Chinese investors will establish a production line in Iran’s north western Zanjan Province for manufacturing photovoltaic cells.
The Chinese side will invest 1.2 billion rials (about $34,000) for establishing the industrial unit, Faramarz Nikseresht, a local official told IRNA Dec. 18, without unveiling the name of the Chinese company.
He further said that two Chinese companies also will build 20 MW and 500 MW solar power plants in the province jointly with cooperation of Iranian counterparts.
Over $550 million of investment will be made for construction of the power plants, Nikseresht, said.
Currently, seven industrial units producing solar panels are operating in Iran.
European investment in renewable energy projects
The largest investment agreement on renewable energy projects to date was unveiled on October 17 when Norway's Saga Energy signed a €2.5-billion ($2.9-billion) deal with the state-owned Amin Energy Developers to build a solar power plant with generating capacity of up to 2 GW over the next five years.
The deal is typical of many of the renewable energy deals in Iran in that it is a European company making the investment.
UK’s Quercus’s €500 million solar deal
UK renewables investor Quercus also in September signed a deal worth over half a billion euros to build and operate a 600-megawatt (MW) solar farm in Iran.
The work located in central Iran is expected to take three years, with the project coming online in 100 MW phases every six months, Quercus said of its first project outside Europe.
The planned 600-megawatt (MW) plant, located in central Iran, will be the sixth largest globally, behind projects of up to 1.5 gigawatts (GW) in China and India.
Diego Biasi, chief executive of Quercus, which has a track record of investing in renewable energy in Europe, told Reuters at the time that the firm had decided to go for such a big project to get an endorsement from Iran’s Ministry of Energy.
Among other recent examples, Norway's Scatec Solar has said it is in talks to build a 110-MW solar power plant, worth around $132 million; it could expand it to 500 MW at a later date. In addition, Hashem Oraee, president of the Iran Wind Energy Association (IRWEA), recently told Iran Daily that Danish companies are ready to invest as much as $1 billion in renewable energy projects in Iran.
It is not just Nordic countries which are getting involved. On September 20, the UK's Quercus said it planned to deliver 600 MW of solar power in Iran at a total cost of some €500 million.
Local media have linked Germany's Solarwatt and Italy's Finergy Company to other schemes. In June, a delegation of seven German renewable energy companies toured North Khorasan province to examine potential sites for solar and wind power projects.
Some smaller projects are already at or near completion. In late July, work was completed on the 20MW Mokran solar power plant in Kerman Province, backed by a joint venture of Germany's Adore and Switzerland's Durion.
The companies are planning a 100 MW solar plant for an adjoining site. In April, Iran's Ghadir Electricity and Energy Company and Greece's Metka announced they had completed a 10 MW plant close to Isfahan. In February another 14 MW solar plant was unveiled in Hamedan, in the west of the country.
In total, these deals are adding up to many billions of dollars of investment into the Iranian economy.
An article by Dominic Dudley also contributed to the above story.