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Wind power, solar power operating massively, worries about "clogging" of transmission

09:39 | 18/09/2020

VCN - It is expected that in the future, many wind and solar power projects will continue to be put into operation. Meanwhile, investment in the construction of power grids is difficult to meet synchronous progress of wind and solar power projects.

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Photo: Nguyen Thanh


Operating in record numbers

According to the latest information from Vietnam Electricity (EVN), bythe end of August 2020, the total capacity of wind power and solar power (PV) approved to add to the plan wasnearly 23,000MW (of which, PV is about 11,200MW and wind power is about 11,800MW).

Up to now, the country has put into operation 102 solar power projects with a total capacity of 6,314MWp. In particular, in the second quarter of 2019 alone, nearly 90 solar power projects with a total capacity of about 4,000 MWp were put into operation.

"This is a record workload in the development process of the Vietnamese electricity industry and the number of plants putting into operation is also a record," EVN said.

Because the renewable energy sources (RE) have been put into operation simultaneously in a very short time and concentrated in a large density in the provinces of NinhThuan and BinhThuan,a local overload has occurred especially when solar power projects generated high capacity at the same time.

In order to overcome the overload of the power grid in NinhThuan and BinhThuan, EVN and its member units gather all resources and implement synchronous solutions in construction investment to speed up the works to release the capacity of RE power sources.

In recent years, the units have put into operation 21 power grids from 110 kV to 500 kV serving the release of RE power sources with a total line length of over 750 km and transformer stations with a total capacity of 5,025 MVA.

Of which, a number of key projects have been completed such as: Increasing capacity of 500kV stations in Vinh Tan, Di Linh and the capacity of Thap Cham and Ham Tan 220 kV stations; completing and putting into operation the new 220 kV stations such as NinhPhuoc and PhanRi; new investment and renovation and upgrading of 110kV lines in the region.

Up to now, the transmission grid infrastructure has basically satisfied the full capacity of 113 solar power projects, wind power system has been put into operation with a total capacity of over 5,700MW (including projects operating before 30 June 2019 and new projects put into operation in 2020).

Transmission grids "out of breath"?

EVN stated that, at present, there are many renewable energy power projects that have been added to the planning with a total capacity of more than 17,000 MW, of which many projects are being implemented urgently by investors.

This is in order to enjoy the fixed electricity price (FIT) mechanism applicable to solar power projects that are put into commercial operation until December 31, 2020 (according to Decision 13/2020 / QD-TTg dated April 6, 2020 on the mechanism to encourage PV development in Vietnam) and the FIT electricity price mechanism applicable to wind power projects put into commercial operation before November 2021 (according to Decision 39/2018 / QD-TTg on September 10,2018 amending Decision 37/2011 / QD-TTg on the mechanism to support the development of wind power projects in Vietnam).

Therefore, it is expected that there will be many wind power projects and PV power continuing to be put into operation in the near future.

In order to meet the full capacity release of renewable energy sources, EVN urgently reported to competent authorities to propose adjustments and supplements to the planning of relevant transmission grid works in the regions.

However, investment in the construction of these new power grids will be difficult to meet the synchronous progress with wind power as well as solar power projects. Especially, investors are trying to put them into commercial operation in order to enjoy the current FIT electricity price mechanism.

In order to meet the requirements of the release of renewable energy sources, in recent documents sent to the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Industry and Trade, EVN requested the Ministry of Industry and Trade to consider submitting to the Prime Minister for adjustment and supplementation of the planning ofessential transmission works in order to ensure the release of new added sources.

Specifically, connector works synchronizing renewable energy sources; synchronous connection works of other power sources in combination with releasing renewable energy sources to increase investment efficiency; works that increase grid absorption capacity in large or concentrated areas.

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In addition, EVN also requested the Ministry of Industry and Trade to develop a mechanism for the investor of power sources to invest in a combination of source projects and synchronous transmission grids connected to nodes and collection trunks belonging to the EVN system. All these measures are to reduce investment pressure on EVN as well as to meet the synchronous progress of power sources.

By Thanh Nguyen/ Minh Phuong