The Government of Laos and Électricité de France (EDF) signed a project development agreement (PDA) for a hybrid floating solar project on the reservoir of the Nam Theun 2 hydropower project in Khammouane province.
Nam Theun 2-Solar (NT2-Solar) will be the largest hybrid floating solar project in the world, with an installed capacity of 240MWp, covering an area of 3.2 square kilometres, which is less than 1% of the reservoir’s area at full supply level.
The Nam Theun 2 Power Company (NTPC) was established in 2002 to oversee the development, construction and operation of the Nam Theun 2 hydroelectric power plant. Its shareholders are EDF International (40%), Thailand's Electricity Generating Public Company Limited (EGCO, 35%), and the government of Laos (25%).
Under a 25-year build-operate-transfer concession which began in 2010, the existing hydro plant has a capacity of 1,070MW. Construction of the new floating solar project is expected to begin in 2022, with operations starting in 2024.
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 by 6% the total generation of the Nam Theun 2 facility.
The PDA was signed between Khamchan Vongsengboun, deputy minister for planning and investment, and Beatrice Buffon, executive director of EDF Group in charge of the international division.
The signing ceremony, physical and online, was attended in Vientiane by Khammouane Governor Vanxay Phongsavanh and officials from the Ministry of Energy and Mines, Ministry of Planning and Investment, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and the Khammouane Province Authority.