German Company to Build Solar Power Plants in Iran, Mehr Says

A German company has agreed to build several solar power plants in the Tehran province, an Iranian energy official said.

The company will build a 1,250-megawatt solar power plant in the Iranian capital, said Ali Barband, managing director of Great Tehran Electrical Distribution Co. He didn’t name the company involved.

The deal also will build 500-megawatt solar power plants in the cities of Karaj, Kahrizak and Varamin located in the Tehran Province, Barband told reporters, according to the Mehr news agency.

He didn’t provide cost details, though he said the company will fully fund the projects in exchange for a guarantee on electricity purchase and 20-year lease on land at a low price.

A nuclear deal struck between Iran and world powers in July means sanctions may be lifted from early 2016. That would herald the return of international companies in industries including its energy sector that has been starved of investment and technology.

“Everyone is trying to get back into Iran,” OMV AG chief Rainer Seele said on Monday.

Since 2012 the Iranian government has pushed renewables as an alternative to the fossil fuels, which supply 94 percent of its electricity. With an ambition to install 5 gigawatts of renewable capacity by 2020, Iran would rank alongside France and the U.K. as an industry leader.

Umweltconsult, a renewable energy developer based in Berlin, said in July it’s planning wind farms requiring investment of 300 million euros ($331 million) in Iran starting next year.

In the Mehr report, Barband said the unidentified German company will begin the construction of a first solar power plant early 2016, which would become operational in May.

Iran is in talks with Chinese investors to build solar-panels-producing factories as well as discussing the construction of solar and wind power plants in Tehran province with several Asian and European investors, Barband said.

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