Quercus – a prominent renewable energy investor specialising in utility-scale renewable energy projects – has announced the launch of a project to build a 600 MW solar photovoltaic plant to be located in Iran. It will be one of the largest single investments in Iran’s energy sector by a UK firm since the lifting of international sanctions in 2016, and the plant will be one of the largest in the world.
As part of its agreement signed with Iran’s Ministry of Energy, Quercus will be responsible for the construction, development and operation of the plant. The total construction period is expected to last three years with the development of one fully operational 100 MW standalone lot every six months.
Following significant interest from investors and building on Quercus’ existing experience – which has seen it build a 40-plant portfolio comprising more than €500 million of financing since being founded in 2010 – the Iran project represents the firm’s first investment outside Europe.
Quercus is also advising on new funding structures and is launching a new specialist team to help deliver the project on the ground, including a head of engineering, a financial controller, project co-ordinator, planning manager and Procurement staff based in Dubai and Tehran. It will be working with a number of project parties, including local engineeris.
Factors that encourage investment in Iran include the 300 sunny days it experiences annually, ensuring a perfect climate for producing solar energy, and the demand for renewables, a significant share of the $12.2 trillion that needs to be invested to meet Middle East demand. Of that $1.5 tn is to be invested into large scale PV, with wind and solar the most invested segments.