The much-awaited installation of the Sephu solar power plant in Wangdue Phodrang is expected to start by the end of this month. The Department of Energy is expected to award a contract for the installation works after final endorsement from the funding agency, the Asian Development Bank. The Sephu Solar Power Plant will have the capacity to produce a maximum of 17.3 megawatts of electricity at its peak.
According to a resource assessment study in 2016, Bhutan has the potential to generate around 12,000 megawatts of solar energy.
However, the country has only been able to tap into around three megawatts of solar energy.
The Nu 1.4bn solar power project in Sephu is expected to be commissioned in two years and help offset electricity imports from India during winter months.
‘’We are hoping by a week or two, we may be getting clearance on the technical bid evaluation. And ADB will give us clearance on opening the financial bid, which should not be taking too long. So, once this financial bid is opened and found acceptable by April end, we are targeting to award the contract. So, as soon as the contract is awarded then the construction will start,’’ said Ugyen, the Project Director of the Sephu Solar Project.
The project director added that despite having huge potential to tap solar energy, the availability of land to install the solar power plants is a challenge.
The government is targeting to meet 1,000 megawatts of domestic electricity demand through solar power by 2030.
The solar power project in Sephu will generate around 25,000 million units of electricity a year after completion.