Iran is using limited supplies of electricity from neighboring Azerbaijan to prevent a recurrence of brief power cuts that surprised the households in large cities last month.
The state electricity company Tavanir said on Saturday that imports from Azerbaijan had started with an initial supply of 73 megawatt per hour (MWh).
Tavanir spokesman Mostafa Rajabi said imports from the Moghan transmission line on the border with Azerbaijan could reach 130 MWh in peak hours of electricity consumption in northwestern Iranian provinces.
Iran has been grappling with rising demand for electricity in recent weeks. Energy Ministry authorities insist power shortages have occurred because of a sudden and unprecedented increase in temperatures as well as a growing use of electricity for unlicensed cryptocurrency mining.
The shortage caused brief but recurrent power cuts in large Iranian cities, including in the capital Tehran, last month.
Tavanir has already started importing electricity from Turkmenistan to prevent outages in populated urban centers in northeastern Iran.
The company said earlier this month that an initial supply of 140 MWh from Turkmenistan could increase if demand for electrify rises in the three Khorasan provinces.
That comes as total electricity consumption by households and industries across Iran is reaching nearly 60,000 MWh (60 gigawatt hours) during peak hours.
Iran’s Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian said on Saturday that the government and the parliament in Iran would adopt a major legislation in the near future to limit the unauthorized use of electricity for crypto mining.
While attending a parliamentary questioning on electricity issues, Ardakanian admitted that crypto mining has been a major cause of power shortages in Iran this year.