Trung Nam Group has officially inaugurated the 450MW Trung Nam-Thuan Nam solar farm, the largest of its kind in the country, along with a 500kV transformer station and a 220/500kV transmission line in Ninh Thuan province.
Situated in the central coastal province of Ninh Thuan, the VND14 trillion($608.7 million) solar farm is connected to the national grid via a 17km (10.6 miles) transmission line, also built by Trung Nam. Covering an area of 557.1 hectares, the project also covers the 17km transmission lines of 500kV, 220kV stretching from Ninh Thuan to Binh Thuan province.
Trung Nam has started the project since May 2020 with a view to complete it in the fourth quarter of 2020. The company has finished site clearance in the first 45 days with over 8,000 employees, experts, and workers.
In fact, as of June 30, 2019, there were over 80 solar power plants with a total capacity of about 4,464MW approved and online. These projects were mainly in Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan province. However, as many solar farms were put into operation in a short time, it has caused an overload on distribution and transmission networks in the two provinces. Many projects fail to connect with the national grid so they have to reduce power capacity by 30-35 per cent or up to 60 per cent to ensure stable electrical system operation. This has caused tremendous difficulties for investors to cover expenses to invest, operate, as well as expand their projects.
This issue reflects the asynchronous development of the national transmission infrastructure, making it difficult for localities and investors to catch up with the fast-paced development of solar power projects. Other challenges related to site clearance work and procedures also caused stagnation for solar power development in the province. In addition, while it only takes six months to complete solar power projects but it will take at least 3-5 years for developing transmission lines of 500kV and 220kV. Thus, Trung Nam has decided to invest in the national transmission grid to ensure sustainable development.
The solar farm started operating on September 29 and is expected to produce 1.2 billion kWh of electricity in the first year and more than 1 billion kWh from renewable sources every year. The solar farm, along with a 500kV transformer station and 220/500kV transmission line, is expected to help ease the overload of the national transmission grid as well as Vietnam’s imminent power shortage.
“Vietnam’s solar and wind energy potential is immense and the country is on the right track to rapidly and effectively tap into this potential,” Trung Nam chief executive officer Nguyen Tam Tien said, noting that the project will contribute important capacity for regional power grids in Ninh Thuan and the south-central coast.