Combined cycle power plants’ output reaches new record high

April 24, 2021 - 14:2

TEHRAN – The electricity generated by Iran’s combined cycle power plants increased by 20 percent in the previous Iranian calendar year (ended on March 20) compared to the preceding year, reaching over 158 million megawatt-hours (MWh), IRNA reported.

Iran has been turning its thermal power plans into combined cycle plants in order to reduce greenhouse gases and save energy, according to the country’s Thermal Power Plant Holding (TPPH).

Turning gas power plants into combined cycle ones is one of the most efficient ways to improve the efficiency of thermal power plants in the country, which is very effective not only for generating more electricity but also for protecting the environment and reducing fuel consumption.

According to TPPH data, last year 343 million MWh of electricity was generated by the country’s power plants (including thermal, hydropower, nuclear and renewable), of which the share of thermal power plants (steam, gas, and combined cycle) was more than 314 million MWh.

Last year, about 92 percent of the country's electricity needs were supplied by thermal power plants, the production of which increased by more than nine percent compared to the preceding year.

Last week, TPPH Managing Director Mohsen Tarztalab said 69,000 MW new capacity of thermal power plants will join the country’s power grid by mid-June and after the end of the overhaul operations.

The overhaul operations of the power plants are now underway and efforts are being made to complete this before the peak load, Mohsen Tarztalab said on April 20.

As announced by the official, the efficiency of Iran’s thermal power plants will reach 40 percent by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20, 2022).

Tarztalab also said that the conversion of gas power plants into combined cycle ones, applying gas turbines with new technology, upgrading the gas units, and scrapping the worn-out power plants are some of the programs to increase efficiency in thermal power plants.

Referring to the announcement of the new energy document to the electricity industry, he said: "According to this document, by Iranian calendar year 1420 (started in March 2041) the efficiency of the country's thermal power plants should reach 50 percent, which will require heavy investments."

Currently, more than 478 thermal power plants are operating throughout Iran, of which 160 units could be turned into combined cycle plants. In doing so, 12,600 megawatts will be added to the country’s power capacity.

Currently, Iran’s total power generation capacity stands at about 85,500 MW. Combined cycle power plants account for the biggest share in the country’s total power generation capacity followed by gas power plants.