The construction operation of Iran’s first floating solar farm in Shahid Mohammad Montazeri Power Plant in Isfahan Province started on Tuesday.
The 1 megawatt floating photovoltaic farm is due to be installed on 1.5 hectares of an industrial lake in the power plant for generating electricity, reducing environmental pollutants and avoiding water evaporation, IRNA reported.
By launching the solar farm, which is planned to be completely implemented by Iranian experts, 1.9 million kW/h of electricity will be supplied to the national power grid annually and 38,000 cubic meters of water per year will be saved.Mohsen Mehralizadeh, the governor general of Isfahan Province, was present at the ceremony for starting the 60-billion-rial ($1.4 million) project.
The significant improvement of efficiency by 19% of solar panels over water has led to the construction of large-scale floating solar farms in China, India, the UK and Japan.
Last year, China built a huge 150-MW floating solar plant, with an investment of $151 million, which boasts the world’s largest floating solar farm.
In addition to water volume retention, floating solar plants provide additional water quality benefits, of particular benefit to potable water infrastructure management. By shading water, floating solar farms also inhibit the growth of water weeds and bacteria, such as giardia and cryptosporidium. Such plants, which have become increasingly popular in the world, are used to provide electricity to port cities, islands, large industrial sites, oil and gas installations, as well as for desalinating water.
Mehralizadeh also broke ground for a pumping station as well as its transfer line and supplementary treatment of wastewater at the Shahid Mohammad Montazeri Power Plant.
The pumping station, with a length of 11 kilometers and an investment of 480 billion rials ($11.4 million), has the capacity to pump 648 cubic meters of water per hour. The Persian Holding and Abangan Sanat Company are due to jointly build the station in 14 months.
The advantages of the station include the ability to reuse up to 90% of consumed water in the power plant and supply water by treating wastewater coming from the nearby city of Shahin Shahr.
Mehralizadeh said the establishment of the wastewater treatment plant will be a major step toward preserving the environment and adjusting with water shortage, which is especially chronic in the semi-arid central province.
“Collecting effluent and reusing it are a valuable move, which will reduce Zayanderoud’s water extraction by 1% upon the plant’s launch,” he said.
Zayanderoud is the largest river of the Iranian Plateau in central Iran. Stressing that bureaucracy is the main impediment to investment and production in the province, he noted that these problems would be alleviated soon.