Basij forces to build 100,000 rooftop power stations across Iran

TEHRAN, Jun. 03 (MNA) – Basij volunteer forces will set up some 100,00 small-scale solar power systems for rural homes across Iran, a top commander said on Sunday.

Iran’s Basij force commander, Brigadier General Gholam-Hossein Gheibparvar, said the forces will start commissioning 5-kilowatt rooftop panels across the country, especially in the underdeveloped regions.

“The move comes in a bid to help create sustainable employment in the underdeveloped regions plus increase family income,” he added.

According to the data by the state-owned Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Organization (SATBA), more than 3,200 rooftop solar power stations are currently operational across the country, 90% of which have been built in the underprivileged areas to generate income for the rural households and as a result decrease migration to cities.

Mojtaba Looni, the director general of Compilation and Facilitation of Regulations Office at SATBA says, “Investing in the small-scale PV stations can lead to the reduction of power loss in the electricity distribution grid as well, especially in remote rural areas.”

With more than 300 sunny days a year, Iran has huge potential to expand solar farms. Energy experts believe that solar energy decreases production costs as well, compared to thermal power plant construction that are increasingly attracting the strong opposition and ire of environmentalists and conservationists around the globe.

According to the official, at the present, the most number of rooftop solar systems operate in the provinces of Kerman (921 stations), Khorasan Razavi (761 plants) and Isfahan (248 systems).

Each photovoltaic panel with one-kilowatt capacity is reported to generate 200 kW of power in 30 days. SATBA buys one kilowatt of electricity for 8 cents, meaning households selling one kilowatt can earn $16 per month.

Most rooftop installations have 5kW panels that produce 1,000 kW a month. 5-kW panels make a minimum of $75 per month, reports say.

Expanding solar farms and rooftop photovoltaic power stations will also help reduce the consumption of fossil fuels and curb environmental pollutants.

Of the total 81,000 MW of the national capacity, 700 MW comes from renewables.

MR/4631537

News Code 146042

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