Laos to build large hybrid floating solar project

Xinhua, July 16, 2021

The Lao government and shareholders in Nam Theun 2 hydropower plant have agreed to develop Nam Theun 2-Solar, which is claimed to be the world's largest hybrid floating solar project.

With an installed capacity of 240 megawatt peak (MWp), the solar project will be built on the reservoir of Nam Theun 2, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Wednesday.

The Lao government and French energy supplier Electricite de France (EDF) signed a Project Development Agreement in Lao capital Vientiane on Monday to kick off development of the project in Khammuan province, some 250 km southeast of Lao capital Vientiane.

The project developers, led by EDF in partnership with the Lao Holding State Enterprise (LHSE) and the Electricity Generating Public Company (EGCO) of Thailand, are targeting the start of construction in 2022 and the operation to begin in 2024.

The solar-powered venture is expected to be the largest hybrid floating solar project in the world, covering an area of 3.2 square kilometers, which is less than one percent of the reservoir's area at full supply level, according to the Nam Theun 2 Power Company.

"The Nam Theun-2 Solar project will provide clean, safe, reliable and competitive electricity, with no major environmental or social impact," said Jean-Philippe Buisson, EDF's Vice President for Asia.

"The water saver concept, which allows the transformation of variable solar energy into additional and stable hydroelectricity, is an innovation to generate renewable electricity in a more reliable manner," he said.