Vietnam Turns to Nature for Power

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Jul. 8 – The first phase of the Cong Hai wind power project, which houses a total of three turbines with a capacity of 1 MW each, will begin this year in the Cong Hai Commune of Vietnam’s Thuan Bac district. The project is expected to generate about 14 million kWh of electricity annually.

The second phase of the project will likely be finished by 2015, and will house 15 turbines on 160 hectares. Each turbine is expected to have a capacity of 2.5 MW, with each MW of the project costing an estimated US$3.2 million in investment.

The Ninh Thuan region is especially attractive for developers due to it having a number of areas with strong wind sources, which includes areas in the Ninh Phuoc, Thuan Nam, Thuan Bac and Ninh Hai districts. As such, other wind farm projects have been approved in principle by the local governments to be established in these districts aiming for a total wind exploitation capacity of 2,000 MW by 2020.

In addition, the Binh Thuan province has also been noted to be a good region for wind power generation. The provincial authorities have already allowed investors to commence development on 12 wind power projects in the region, and two of them are already in operation for a total designed capacity of 30 MW.

“[Vietnam’s] wind power potential to be exploited in the next few years is 6,500 MW,” noted Nguyen Anh Tuan, deputy director of the Vietnam Institute of Energy. “However, only three wind farm projects have connected with the national power network with a combined capacity of around 120 MW [so far], with another 40 still under consideration for investment approval.”

Wind power is not the only alternate source of power the country is looking utilize – there are six additional hydropower generators with a total capacity of 213.5 MW looking to commence operations this month. These include the second generator of the Khe Bo hydropower plant (with a capacity of 30 MW) and the first generators of the Song Bac, Ta Thang, Van Chan, Dam Bri and Dong Nai 2 plants, with respective capacities of 42 MW, 30 MW, 19 MW, 37.5 MW and 35 MW.

The country’s total power consumption last month was estimated at nearly 11.9 billion kWh, up 11.6 percent year-on-year.

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