Building Myanmar’s Sustainable Future: SMA Implements Phase 1 of Minbu Solar Power Project

Building Myanmar’s Sustainable Future

SMA partnered with Green Earth Power Co Ltd, Thailand, to build the 1st Phase of Myanmar’s ambitious 220 MW Minbu Solar Power Project.

Nestled along the majestic Irrawaddy River, opposite the bustling town of Magway, is the serene district of Minbu. The tranquil place captivates visitors with its understated allure. The arid village thrives due to the intricate network of rivers that irrigate its fertile lands. Beyond its agricultural prowess, Minbu also has a rich history steeped in tradition. With ample sunshine, the Minbu Solar Power Project could not have had a better location. It is the largest project of its kind in Myanmar (Phase I operationalized). The project is being developed by Green Earth Power (GEP), Thailand, and WElink Energy, UK, and powered by American power company Enel Green Energy and the Government of Myanmar’s Ministry of Electricity and Energy (MOEE). Green Earth Power (GEP) Thailand owns a 100% stake in the project.

Deployment in four stages – Project specifications

The ground-mounted solar project spans 344 hectares and is divided into 4 phases. Each of the first 3 phases generates 50 MW, while the final phase produces 70 MW. Phase 1 was completed and operationalized in 2019, following a 1.5-year schedule. It has been operational since then. The project has a total capacity of 220 MWdc and yields 360,000 to 370,000 MWh annually. It plays a significant role in sustainable energy production and contributes to environmental conservation by reducing over 285,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually. Phase 1, with a capacity of 50 MWdc, features 41 SMA central inverters, emphasizing quality and efficiency in power generation.

Navigating Obstacles: Overcoming Challenges in Remote Project Execution

Speaking about the obstacles faced while executing the project, Mr. Aung Thiha, Managing Director said, “Building a project of this scale in the remote Minbu District of Magway Region in Myanmar, a country with limited logistics, technological, and labor access, was quite challenging. No proper roads connected the site to Yangon or any other major city in Myanmar, and finding enough skilled labor to carry out the installation was a big challenge. We are thankful to SMA for their excellent technical support and know-how, which made it easier for us to execute this challenging project.”

SMA worked closely with GEP and the other stakeholders to execute the project, and Phase 1 was operationalized in 18 months.

Milestone Accomplishment

Phase 1 of Minbu-GEP Solar Park leverages operational efficiency and lights up 82,000 households in the region.

It is a remarkable display of investment in the renewable energy sector by Myanmar, which aims to diversify its energy generation mix and reduce dependence on fossil fuels. The 50-MW project is a milestone achievement in the region, and there is eager anticipation around the work starting on the remaining phases in the near future. MoEE is the sole distributor of the energy from the project, and they have a long-term power purchase agreement with GEP Thailand. When completed, the project will be able to generate enough clean energy to power more than 200,000 homes in the region.

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