Singapore-based Sunseap’s solar farm, the country’s first renewable power facility which has a contract to feed 10MW to the national grid, is set to start generating in August, officials say.
It will supply stable power in Svay Rieng province.
Victor Jona, director-general of the Energy Ministry’s general department of energy, said yesterday that 75 percent of construction had been finished.
Less electricity would be imported from Vietnam when the solar farm was in operation. This would help residents and investment in the province, Mr Jona said.
“It will help investment because power is a core of development,” he added.
“The establishment of factories, enterprises and industry need stable power supplies.”
Located in Bavet City, the $12.5 million solar farm reached a deal with Cambodia’s Electricity Authority (EDC) last August for $0.09 per kilowatt hour, with a 20-year operational expectancy.
Electricity supplies in Svay Rieng are being upgraded in response to demand from households and factories in the special economic zone in Bavet city by using power from the solar farm via high voltage transmission lines.
The national grid, linking Phnom Penh to Prey Veng and Svay Rieng provinces via 115 kilovolt transmission lines, was put into operation in April. It promises to replace electricity imported from Vietnam.
Svay Rieng provincial spokesman Ros Pharith said that the upgrade of electricity supplies from the national grid and renewable power will help the province and SEZ investors have stable prices.
“The newly installed national grid from Phnom Penh to Svay Rieng will help residents to be able to access stable electricity and some factories in the special economic zone will get linked to the high-voltage national grid,” Mr Pharith said.
“The province has a lack of power, so if more power suppliers come, people, particularly investors will be grateful.”
Currently, the demand for electricity in the province is about 40MW but the supply is less than the demand, according to Mr Pharith.
He said the province still depended on 23MW of electricity from Vietnam.
The power will travel along a network of power lines, able to transmit 150MW first. The lines will later be upgraded to transmit up to 300MW.
“We have not stopped importing power from Vietnam because demand is still high. But now we have the national grid and soon we will have power generated by the solar farm,” Mr Pharith said.
“Hopefully the supply will be stable,” he added.
“Now, we need only about 35 to 40MW and this will increase in the future if there are more investments in factories, and industries.”
According to the Energy Ministry, Cambodia generates 200MW of energy through oil-powered electricity plants, 500MW from coal-fired plants and 928MW from hydropower installations.