Iran’s Energy Ministry has invited bids from developers for 500MW of wind power capacity to be built at several sites across the country.

The ministry has selected sites according to the areas with best wind power potential. A study commissioned by the ministry found that Iran has the potential to generate up to 30,000MW capacity through wind power.

Some of the wind farms will be developed as independent power projects (IPPs), while others will be directly procured by the government through engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts.

Turbines will be imported from abroad. Industry sources have suggested that transportation issues are likely to pose a significant obstacle for the construction of the projects. The large turbine components will need to be transported up Iran’s mountains to the areas of highest wind potential.

The 500MW programme is part of Iran’s target to develop 1-2 per cent of its total power generation from renewable resources, excluding hydropower.

The country’s first solar/gas-fired hybrid project came online in 2010. It has a total capacity of 500MW, of which a portion of the power is generated from thermal solar power troughs.