UK-based renewable energy developer Quercus has signed a deal to develop a 600MW solar plant in Iran, which will require a total investment of about $500m.

Construction of the project is expected to take three years, with 100MW phases coming online every six months. The firm will set up offices in Tehran and Dubai, UAE, to deliver the project.

Iran currently has 63MW of installed solar capacity, located at locations near the cities of Yazd, Kerman, Isfahan and Hamadan.

The Quercus project is part of Iran’s plans to add an additional 5GW of renewable energy capacity overt the next five years.

In the first quarter of 2017, a 14MW PV solar project, built and financed by Germany’s Athos Solar, was commissioned in Hamadan in the west of Iran. The Hamadan project was developed as two 7MW solar plants, each consisting of 22,000 PV solar panels. Each plant was developed under an IPP framework with a base rate of 16$cents a kilowatt hour, at an estimated construction cost of $10m each.

The projects were delivered using 80 per cent German technology, and 20 per cent local content.

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