Phnom Penh SEZ Goes Solar

Sok Chan / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Solar power generation does not replace the need for a grid power distribution but it does reduce the dependence of business on just one power source. AFP

The Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone (PPSEZ) has gone green with solar panels to generate electricity in its clean energy initiative launched this week, in partnership with Singapore-based Cleantech Solar Management Corporation.
The partnership with Cleantech Solar began early this year with the Singapore company helping PPSEZ install two new solar panel systems. Cleantech Solar also gives PPSEZ technical support to enable the industrial estate to self-generate solar energy.
“After four months, the solar panels are now fully operational and supply a significant part of the special economic zone’s electricity needs,” said a media statement issued by the PPSEZ on Tuesday.
“The two new solar power systems comprise 400 panels and generate about 15,000 kilowatts per hour (kWh) per month,” said the statement.
“It is an important step to reduce the cost of Phnom Penh SEZ’s infrastructure services and a great way to gain operational experience,” added the statement.
A monitor showing the daily electricity that was produced by the solar panels and the amount of carbon saved had been set up permanently in the company lobby, according to the media statement.
The current average electricity daily load for PPSEZ is about 10 megawatts (MWs), with a daily peak of 13 MWs, and it has a contract with the national Electricite du Cambodge for the maximum supply of 30 MWs.
Stephen Evans, the owner representative of PPSEZ, said the company wanted to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions from its buildings and operations.
“We want to introduce the concept of clean power to business owners, investors and company leaders that are operating in the special economic zone’s industrial park,” he said.
“Cambodia has excellent solar resources and we believe that this solution will be of great value to a lot of our existing and future customers. Some of our future investors are asking for solar solutions, and having those systems in place gives us a real advantage,” added Mr. Evans.
“This solution also has an additional benefit of being at a lower running cost and on the plus side there will be low-carbon emissions coming from a renewable source.”
Mr. Evans, however, added a word of caution.
“Solar power generation does not replace the need for a grid power distribution,” he said.
“But it does reduce the dependence of business on just one power source – it’s not only a cost saving measure, it is also good risk management.”
Arnaud Ayral, regional business development manager of Cleantech, said that PPSEZ is now at the forefront of Cambodia’s clean energy movement by opting for solar power.
“There is a lot of interest in the market but while some companies watch, others act and I think Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone is putting itself in the leading group. They truly want to lead by example – in business as well as in the community and the environment,” he said.
PPSEZ is located about eight kilometers west of Phnom Penh’s International Airport and 18 kilometers from Phnom Penh city center. It is also the gateway to Sihanoukville ‒ the Kingdom’s main sea port.

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