UK fund backs 600MW solar farm as part of Iran’s $60bn renewables plan


Solar Power plant TehranQuercus, the UK-based ‘green’ investment fund, has signed a deal worth €500m to build and operate a 600-megawatt (MW) solar farm in central Iran, it announced yesterday.The company will be responsible for the construction, development and operation of the plant, and will be setting up a specialist team with bases in both Dubai and Tehran to help deliver the project. The project, which ties in with Iran’s plans to raise $60bn of investment for its renewables sector, is expected to take three years to deliver, with capacity increasing by 100MW every six month and is being financed by a combination of both private and institutional investors, including sovereign wealth funds.
Quercus CEO Diego Biasi“This is a project of national interest, so we got special support,” Quercus CEO Diego Biasi said this week, “and enough investors were interested that we decided to go for one big project instead of a number of smaller ones which wouldn’t have given us the same relationship with the [Energy] Ministry.”
Despite enjoying an average of 2,800 hours of sunshine each year, Iran currently only has 63 MW of installed solar capacity, principally concentrated in the cities of Yazd, Kerman, Isfahan and Hamadan. Tehran’s immediate goal is to add 1000 MW of renewable energy to the national grid each year for the next five years and, ultimately to bring capacity up to 26,000 MW
Qazvin solar power siteEnergy producers from Germany, Italy, India, South Korea, Japan, Spain, China, and Switzerland have already expressed an interest in Iran’s renewables sector and in 2016 two Italian contractors Dynkun and Genesis were awarded a 10-year contract to build 100 photovoltaic (PV) solar power each with a nominal capacity of 10 MW in the provincial capital of Qazvin; and last week it was reported that Norway’s Scatec Solar was in talks over plans to generate 120 MW megawatts of solar power in the country, a figure that could rise to 500 MW in the longer term.