UK’s Quercus to build 600MW solar farm in Iran
UK-based renewables investor Quercus has agreed a deal with Iran’s Ministry of Energy to build one of the world’s largest solar projects in the country.
The deal worth £440mn will see a construction period of three years with plans to have 100MW installations up and running every six months, concluding with the solar farm having a total power supply of 600MW once complete.
“Not only is this positive news for us, but also fantastic news for the UK, representing a major milestone for trade relations with Iran,” said Diego Biasi, Chief Executive of Quercus.
“Iran is seeing unprecedented levels of investments since the lifting of international sanctions, and we are proud to be leading the UK’s push into this market.”
It marks Quercus’ first inroads into Iran, also making it the firms largest deal outside of the UK, despite boasting of 40 renewable energy plants across Europe.
The project is part of Iran’s target of installing five gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2020, the equivalent power production to five nuclear reactors, as part of its wider goals of meeting its rising electrical demands whilst also reducing country-wide emissions.
It's also a prime example of renewable energy alternatives becoming increasingly attractive to African and Middle Eastern countries as the price of solar panels and wind turbines continues to fall.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.