The state-owned power utility is set to undertake a nationwide study on ways to harness an additional 2GW capacity of solar energy proposed by a regional lender, in a pilot project expected to spur up to $100 million in investments that aims to illustrate how to quickly and efficiently procure low-cost renewable energy in Cambodia towards its drive for carbon neutrality by 2050.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced the project in a November 2 statement, which noted that it had signed a “transaction advisory services mandate” with Electricite du Cambodge (EdC) to “support the development” of the extra 2GW of solar power capacity in the Kingdom.
“Under this mandate, ADB will help EdC conduct a nationwide study on opportunities for additional solar power capacity in combination with a Battery Energy Storage System [BESS], to be implemented from this year through 2030,” it said.
A BESS is a set of one or more devices assembled together that allow energy generated by the connected solar farm or other electricity system to be stored for later use, to ensure an uninterrupted supply of power under all conditions.
“ADB will also assist EdC in bidding out a 100MW pilot project identified under the study to the private sector, which will build, finance and operate the project.
“This development of 2GW of solar power is in line with the strategy of the Cambodian government to meet its growing energy demand by maximising the adoption of renewable energy and energy efficiency.
“Key to this strategy will be harnessing Cambodia’s abundant solar resources, whose share in the installed capacity increased from practically nothing in 2016 to around 12 per cent at the end of 2021,” the statement said.
Head of ADB’s Office of Public-Private Partnership, F Cleo Kawawaki, hailed the pilot project as the Kingdom’s “most ambitious yet in the renewable sector”.
“It will lower electricity costs and improve energy security by taking advantage of domestic resources.
“We hope to contribute to this effort by supporting a well-planned pipeline for transparent bids that attract active competition to optimise the efficiency, innovation and capital of the private sector to benefit the people of Cambodia,” the statement quoted her as saying.
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Author: May Kunmakara
Source: The Phnom Penh Post
Publication date: 03 November 2022