Aug. 27 (UPI) -- One of the largest producers in OPEC, Iran is now operating one of its largest wind farms in the mountainous northwest, the government said.
Representatives from the Iranian Energy Ministry were on hand for a ceremony held for the start of operations of a 61-megawatt wind farm in Iran's Qazvin province.
According to the official Islamic Republic News Agency, Iran generates about 640 MW of renewable energy per year and about 45 percent of that comes from wind power.
The terrain in the mountainous north of Iran leaves it relatively isolated from the rest of the national grid. The government has trade arrangements with six of its neighbors to swap power resources in order to satisfy regional demand.
Iran's government said it aims to curb greenhouse gas emissions with more renewable technology. The Qazvin province wind farm was built with a budget of $100 million and has 18 wind turbines spread out over a 42-acre area.
Tehran in October hosts its third annual renewable energy conference. Organizers said renewable energy is still in its infancy in Iran and therefore ripe for investments.
The best areas for wind energy are in the mountainous north. Nearly all of the proposed renewable energy in Iran is expected to come from utility-scale wind farms.
"Due to its strategic location along several major wind corridors, Iran's northwest and northeast regions experience high winds all year," conference organizers stated.
Iran is the third-largest oil producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Its ability to generate revenue from that oil will be severely limited in November when U.S. sanctions snap back into place.
The government on Monday began oral arguments in a lawsuit against the United States at the International Court of Justice at The Hague challenging the renewed sanctions.