Record low bid for Southeast Asia’s solar power industry

Jose Rodriguez T. Senase / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
A solar farm in Kampong Speu. Experts say Cambodia has great potential in solar power generation. EDC

The auction for 60 megawatts of solar power in Cambodia has led to the lowest power price ever recorded in Southeast Asia, various publications dealing with the global energy sector revealed this week.

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According to Renewables Now, Prime Road Alternative Co Ltd of Thailand edged out 25 other companies, including some major global players, after it submitted a record-breaking bid of 3.877 cents per kilowatt-hour.

The Ministry of Mines and Energy reported that a total of 148 local and international energy companies have requested applications, but only 26 submitted bids. Electricite du Cambodge (EDC), the state-owned utility company, conducted the bidding in February of this year.

The 60 MW that EDC has auctioned is part of the 100 MW National Solar Park that will be developed in Kampong Chhnang province. The project, which is being backed by the Asian Development Bank, was launched in 2017.

As the winning bidder, Prime Road Alternative will be responsible for developing, operating, and maintaining the 60 MW project, the output of which will be purchased and distributed by EDC under a long-term power purchase agreement.

A top ADB official said the bidding’s result is good news for Cambodia.

“The record low prices show the power of competition. This is a new era for renewable energy development in Cambodia and the region, and particularly for solar power generation. This is good news for EDC and the people of Cambodia,” Siddharta Shah, director of ADB’s office of public-private partnerships, said in a press release.

Mr Shah added that this will serve as an example for other countries in the region.

“We believe more governments in the region will adopt auction as a strategy to procure renewable energy generation capacity, and this structure and tariff will serve as a benchmark for future projects,” he stressed.

After relying mainly on hydropower for much of its energy needs in the past, Cambodia is starting to develop its solar energy potential, with assistance from ADB, Singapore, China, and other countries.

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