The project will operate without connection to the main electricity grid and serve rural communities. The solar farms and energy plants would have a capacity of less than 2MW, though SPCG may look to expand this.
Although this may seem small for Myanmar this is a significant step. The fast developing country only have 2,500 MW for a population of 60 million and is struggling to keep up demand for the rising energy demand. Power shortages are common and many parts of the country do not have electricity at all.
The majority of the rural population is dependent on diesel oil generators which are not only huge sources of harmful emissions but also cost about twice as much as off-grid solar power solutions. Myanmar lacks small solar plants to serve rural communities. Investors from large economies such as China, India and Japan are keen to develop big projects.
For this reason SPCG’s development of small off-grid solar power plants is a welcome solution. The company has eyed two potential locations, with the first project likely to be in Mandalay or Yangon.
Mixture of renweables
SPCG has significant experience in the solar power sector in the Southeast Asia region. The company is expected to have 240 MW of operational solar power capacity in the region by the end of 2013. It is now planning to enter the new market of Myanmar which could open up highly attractive new sources of revenue.
SPCG is expected to develop a mixture of renewable energy projects, such as solar farms with mini-hydropower plants, to take advantage of Myanmar’s vast water resources. Wind power is also a possibility.