Wind power investors warned about risks of overdevelopment
Many wind power projects are being developed at a time when the transmission line has become overloaded. As a result, there could be difficulty selling power.
Dozens of wind power projects in Huong Hoa district in Quang Tri province, for example, are being executed in a hurry to be able to enjoy the preferential FIT (feed in tariff) of VND2,000 per kwh.
Huong Hoa has become the main wind power site of the province. There are 22 communes and towns in the district, and half of the communes have wind power investors.
Under Decision 39/2018, the tariffs are VND1,927 per kwh, or 8.5 cents for onshore, and VND2,223, or 9.8 cents, for offshore projects.
The current FIT applied to wind power stipulated in Decision 39 will expire on November 1, 2021.
Meanwhile, a report of the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) released at a recent working session with Quang Tri People’s Committee showed that the power plants, once operational, may not be able to sell their electricity output.
The total capacity of electricity sources in Quang Tri province which received approval from the Government is 4,724 MW.
In addition, another 12,000 MW of potential capacity is being considered in the eighth national power development plan.
While more and more wind power projects are being developed, the existing transmission system has not been upgraded, which had led to risks.
In an effort to use up wind power capacity, the Lao Bao 220 KV transformer station and the Lao Bao – Dong Ha 220 KV transmission line projects have been adjusted to scale.
However, the transmission capacity of these works is still limited, which doesn’t allow the use of all the potential electricity output of the plants in the western part of Quang Tri province (in Da Krong and Huong Hoa districts).
The total additional capacity of renewable power sources in this part has reached 1,400 MW, exceeding the capability of EVN’s existing transmission works and works under implementation.
EVN estimates that because of overloading in the inner-region 200KV/110KV network and the overloading of the 500 KV transmission line section, no more than 309MW out of 1,440 MW, or 21 percent of renewable power output, will be used this year.
The figures will be 404 MW/1,440 MW (28 percent) by 2023, and 763 MW/1,440 MW (53 percent)
In order to use up the capacity of the approved projects and develop more renewable power projects, especially in the western part of the province, EVN has asked Ministry of Investment and Trade (MOIT) and the Government to develop new transmission works, including the 500 KV Lao Bao, the 500 KV Lao Bao – Quang Tri 2, 220 KV Lao Bao – TBA 500 KV Lao Bao and Huong Linh 220 KV transformer station.
Fast licensing, slow site clearance
|In order to use up the capacity of the approved projects and develop more renewable power projects, especially in the western part of the province, EVN has asked Ministry of Investment and Trade (MOIT) and the Government to develop new transmission works, including the 500 KV Lao Bao, the 500 KV Lao Bao – Quang Tri 2, 220 KV Lao Bao – TBA 500 KV Lao Bao and Huong Linh 220 KV transformer station.|
Investors have expressed concern over slow site clearance for transmission line project implementation.
Following MOIT’s approval of power projects, the Quang Tri provincial authorities quickly granted licenses to the projects. However, the site clearance process hasn't gone so quickly.
At a working session with EVN leaders in late 2020, Vo Van Hung, chair of Quang Tri province, instructed local departments, agencies and district people’s committee to support EVN’s units in site clearance so as to hand over sites to the executor of the 500 KV Quang Trach – Doc Soi and 220 KV Dong Ha – Lao Bao Lines (47.5 kilometer long) prior to December 30, 2020.
However, the projects are still facing problems in site clearance, which has slowed project implementation.
An investor told VietNamNet that he was impatient about the execution of the transmission line project. It has taken several years to get approval for his project, to prepare land, and build the plant. Now, he doesn’t know what will happen when construction of the plant ends, because the transmission line may still be under implementation.
An EVN leader said at a meeting with Quang Tri’s chair in November 2020, EVN committed to complete the 220 KV Lao Bao – Dong Ha and 220 KV Lao Bao transmission works six months after the end of site clearance. However, the site clearance process is yet to finish.
“We hope that local authorities will hand over the site in March so that we can implement the transmission line projects,” he said.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) has proposed continuing the FIT (feed in tariff) for wind power, but lowering the tariff by 20 percent, causing concern among wind power developers.
Across the first half of 2020, the government approved an additional 91 wind energy projects, onshore and offshore, with a total capacity of over 7GW.