The Government of Laos and Electricité De France – EDF have signed an agreement to develop a 250MWp floating solar project in the central Laos province of Khammouane.
The hybrid solar project will be built on the hydropower reservoir and co-located with the 1.08GW Nam Theun 2 hydropower plant, according to the company that operates the hydro facility Nam Theun 2 Power Company (NTPC).
The construction phase for the project, led by EDF and co-developed with Laos-owned Lao Holding State Enterprise (LHSE) and Thailand’s Electricity Generating Public Company (EGCO), is planned to start in 2022, with operation start scheduled for 2024, according to developers.
Dubbed Nam Theun 2-Solar or NT2-Solar, the project will become one of the largest hybrid floating solar projects in the world, with an installed capacity of 240MWp, covering an area of 3.2 square-kilometers, which is less than 1% of the reservoir’s area at full supply level.
Jean-Philippe Buisson, vice-president Asia of EDF, said: “The Nam Theun 2-Solar project will provide clean, safe, reliable, and competitive electricity, with no major environmental or social impact. The water saver concept, which allows to turn variable solar energy into additional and stable hydroelectricity, is an innovation to generate renewable electricity in a more reliable manner”.
The hybrid installation will allow the operation of the solar installation in conjunction with the hydro installation, with the objective to save water: when the sun shines, hydro generation will decrease and less water will be used, keeping it for the dry season.
On average, the asset will increase the total generation of the Nam Theun 2 facility by 6%, NTPC said.
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