On 12th July 2021, the Government of Laos and Electricité 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. The PDA was signed between H.E. Ms. Khamchan Vongsengboun, Deputy Minister for Planning and Investment, and Ms. Béatrice Buffon, Executive Director of EDF Group in charge of the International Division. The signing ceremony, which was held both physical and online, was attended in Vientiane by H.E. Vanxay Phongsavanh, Khammouane Governor, as well as other high-ranking officials from the Ministry of Energy and Mines, the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Khammouane Province Authority. Also in attendance were the French and the Thai Ambassadors to Laos and the Executive Committee of the Nam Theun 2. Representatives from EGCO and EDF participated virtually from Bangkok and Paris.
This hybrid floating solar project, led by EDF and co-developed with the LHSE and the EGCO, is targeting the construction phase to start in 2022 and operation to start by 2024. Dubbed Nam Theun 2-Solar or NT2-Solar, the project would become the largest hybrid floating solar project in the world, with an installed capacity of 240MWp* covering an area of 3.2 square-kilometers (less than 1% of the reservoir’s area at full supply level). The hybrid installation will allow the operation of the solar installation in conjunction with the hydro installation (1,080MW), 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. In average, the asset will increase by 6% the total generation of the Nam Theun 2 facility.
“The Nam Theun 2-Solar project will provide clean, safe, reliable, and competitive electricity, with no major environmental or social impact. The water saver concept, which allows to turn variable solar energy into additional and stable hydroelectricity, is an innovation to generate renewable electricity in a more reliable manner. With the Nam Theun 2-Solar project, EDF is delighted to continue writing the NT2 story, with the Lao Government and our partners EGCO and LHSE.” said Jean-Philippe Buisson, Vice-President Asia of EDF.