Solar power projects only need 6 months to construct and operate, while grid projects need 2-3 years.
According to the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), by the end of August, the total capacity of wind and solar power sources approved for additional planning is nearly 23,000 MW, of which wind power is about 11,800 MW and solar power is 11,200 MW.
Currently, there are 102 solar power projects with a total capacity of 6,314 MW in operation, of which 90 projects with a total capacity of 4,000 MW in the second quarter of 2019 are operating. This is a record amount of work in the development of the power industry and the number of factories put into operation is also the highest ever.
In fact, the fast development of solar and wind power projects has led to the situation of overloading some 110-500 kV lines and transformer stations in areas such as Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan during the point when many projects generate high capacity at the same time.
During the operation, the representative of the National Dispatch Center (A0) said that they must apply the open-loop solution, reducing the operation of hydroelectricity in the area to ensure the line does not exceed the permitted level.
“The general rule of thumb is to evenly distribute generating capacity to plants according to the ratio of announced capacity, irrespective of price. Accordingly, renewable energy plants are given priority to operate compared to traditional plants, thus reducing the use of hydroelectricity to give priority to renewable energy”, the representative of A0 shared.
To date, 21 110-500 kV grid projects are serving the use of renewable energy sources on the 750 km line and 5.025 MVA grid transformer stations have been completed. The series of power grid projects finished ahead of schedule, energizing such as the 220 kV station in Ninh Phuoc, Phan Ri, or increasing the capacity of the 220 kV substation Thap Cham, Ham Tan, and more have significantly contributed to reducing the capacity of the projects. recycled energy.
For example, in Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan areas, after upgrading the grid, the situation of reducing the capacity of the renewable energy plants here has decreased to 9.7% compared to the previous rate of 34%.
EVN assessed that the current transmission grid projects have basically released all the capacity of 113 solar and wind power projects with a total capacity of more than 5,700 MW, including pre-operated projects. From June 30, 2019, the new project will operate in the first 8 months of 2020. But the worry of grid overload still exists when a large number of solar and wind power projects will “rush” to operate at the end of the year. now in order to enjoy the preferential electricity purchase price according to Decision 13/2020.
An expert in the transmission industry shared that implementing a solar power project takes about 6 months, while a 220 kV, 500 kV transmission grid project takes 2-3 years. In addition, the biggest problem with the discharge grid project for renewable energy projects is site clearance.
Site clearance is also a challenge for the Southern Power Corporation (EVNSPC) when implementing projects to release renewable energy capacities, such as the Thap Cham – Ninh Phuoc transmission line project, or Tinh Bien – Continental Director, and more.
Mr. Lam Xuan Tuan, Deputy General Director of EVNSPC, said that with the Thap Cham – Ninh Phuoc line with 66 pillar locations, the agreement has been completed with households at 59 locations, the rest are in the process of negotiation. The corporation aims to complete energizing this line in September to free up the capacity for solar power plants in the region.
Another challenge is the difficulty of reaching an agreement with plant developers who have been generating electricity to cut off construction power during the day. Therefore, most of the work has to be done during the evening or at night. This partly dampens construction progress significantly.
It is forecasted that a series of solar and wind power projects will “race” to operate in the last months of the year to enjoy preferential FIT prices. EVN’s leaders have proposed to adjust the planning of transmission grid projects. However, the investments in new power grids will find it hard to meet synchronous progress with wind and solar power projects, especially when investors are rushing to meet their commercial operation date and enjoy the current FIT electricity price mechanism.