Iran builds geothermal plant

Iran is building a geothermal power plant to meet the country’s increased demand for electricity.

It will be the Middle East’s first geothermal power plant.

The pilot station in northwestern Meshgin Shahr, Ardabil province, at the foot of a dormant volcano, is projected to come on stream in the next two years, said Iran Daily report.

The 50-megawatt project is in line with Iran’s bid to expand clean energy mix which is dominated by fossil fuels, it said.

Geothermal power is cheaper and more reliable than other renewable energy sources, such as thermal or hydroelectric power.

In geothermal power stations, heat from the earth’s core is used to produce steam in underground water and the steam is applied to a generator to produce electricity, said the report.

Greenhouse gas emissions in geothermal power plants are a small fraction of those produced in gas-powered stations and even far less in coal-powered facilities.

For the geothermal power plant in Meshgin Shahr, 11 wells are being drilled, seven of which have reached ground reserves, Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian, was quoted as saying.

Besides power generation, the geothermal energy will be used for heating purposes during the region’s harsh winters and cooling in the summer, he added.

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