The history of Power Industry in the West Azerbaijan Province
Around 1926 (1305 in Persian calendar), One of the most famous and brainy investors named Mohammad Hossein Dilmaghani, after taking a trip to Germany, began to wonder about installing a power plant in Urmia. Due to large amount of water that could be found in Urmia, he brought a small hydraulic turbine along With a German technician to Urmia. The turbine started working by force of a watermill. After setting up the power turbine and training an Iranian technician named Mostafa Sarafraz, the German expert went back to his country. The 40kw hydraulic turbine was installed in a region known as Hang Akhgar. This turbine had been using for carpentry on days and delivering light at nights. Studying the first installed power generators in Iranian cities, the Urmia turbine seems to be the first hydraulic power generator across the country.
As the elders say, the power generated had been using in Urmia old town neighborhoods like Askarkhan, Balo darvazasi, Haft Asiab ,Bazarbash, Bozular Choghori, Jharchibash, Manare mosque, Ghapan, Jami mosque , … .
30 years after installing the first diesel power plant in Tehran in 1905, the first diesel power plant by 110kw capacity was installed in Urmia by Hajh Ghafar and started to deliver power to customers. Adding some generators, the capacity raised up to 1700kws.
Urmia municipality installed another 1500kw power plant in 1961 and provided another part of the city with electricity. In the meantime power plants were installed in other cities across the province. A 30kw small power plant was established in Mahabad. It seems that before the earthquake, there would be a small power plant in Salmas but the official one mentioned in documents, returns to 1947.
So Urmia, Maku, Khoy, Salmas, Naghade, Mahabad, Miandoab and Boukan had power plants but as the power demand was growing, they failed to cope with the new demands. After establishing Azerbaijan regional power company, the private sector and municipality plants were delivered to this company.
The Azerbaijan power company started to develop new power plants and planned new transmission and distribution networks to deliver reliable electricity to its customers. Standard networks based on technical principles replaced old grids.
In 1973, when the 132kv line around Urmia lake got completed, 132/20 kv substations in Urmia, Salmas, Khoy, Mahabad, Miandoab and Naghade were installed and went under load; so the west Azerbaijan electricity grid was connected to the national grid. At the late 1979, Urmia gas power plant of 2*30MW and operation capacity of 2*22 MW was established and came into operation in 1981. This power plant has been responding to a part of the electricity demand in the region as well as improving voltage stability in the 132kv line. Also there is khoy combined cycle power plant consisting two steam and gas parts, which has been operating since 1998. This power plant, with 2 gas units of 133.4 MW and operating capacity of 2*115 MW has entered to the network and is utilized as BASE after the gas station has been set up. Since August 1992, the west Azerbaijan electric power distribution company (as the first distribution utility in the country) started its activity for power delivery in the urban and rural areas as well as operation and maintenance of the power networks across the province.