Solar Power Hub at the Foot of Cam Mountain

11:07:44 AM | 22/5/2019

Going to Tinh Bien, a border area in An Giang province, this summer, I really feel all about typical sunlight and wind here. The sun burns human skin and stunts trees. But, natural harshness provides this place with a chance to become a hub of clean energy.

In An Thanh hamlet, An Hao commune, Tinh Bien district, An Giang province, the agricultural land is barren as a result of harsh natural evolution. Here, the Khmer people can grow only one crop of rice a year, while productivity is very unstable. But, this unfertile field will house thousands of towering solar panels.

The clear day-to-day change in this poor place unlocks local economic development opportunities, creates jobs and improves people's lives. Mr. Ho Manh Dung, Director of Sao Mai Solar PV1 Project Management Board, said that hydropower can indirectly cause natural disasters and floods detrimental to the environment. This is, however, not the case for solar power because this endless, everlasting and friendly treasure will be an inevitable consumption trend on globe.

In Tinh Bien, the sun shines from 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on the battery farm. Covering 275 ha and costing VND6,500 billion, the 210-MW solar power complex, invested by Sao Mai Group, was kicked off on January 15, 2019. After four months of urgent construction, 90% of items have been completed so far. The facility is expected to start commercial power generation on June 30.

Not only being one of major renewable energy plants in Asia, “we are shaping the clean energy project in harmony with developing high-tech agriculture under the layer of solar panels and becoming a unique tourism model. On the other hand, Sao Mai Solar PV1 is aiming to build and form a research, development and training center of solar energy human resources,” he added.

Mr. Nguyen Thanh Binh, Acting Chairman of the An Giang Provincial People’s Committee said, in the context of exhaustion of traditional energy resources, renewable energy is a sustainable development trend. Developing this potential area is a breakthrough step in local career structure. Sao Mai Group has invested a lot of money to build the solar power plant at the foot of Cam Mountain and this is a perfectly reasonable, right decision and long-term strategy.

In order to operate Sao Mai Solar PV1, Sao Mai Group has located over 2,000 engineers and workers at the construction site, including more than 100 engineers, consultants and supervisors from Sterling Wilson Group of India, a world-leading solar power technology. Sao Mai has used a huge amount of materials, imported 800 containers, including more than 300,000 solar panels produced in Japan, about 8,000 tons of most effective, progressive equipment, and more than one million meters of cables.

In particular, the construction site of Sao Mai Solar PV1 employs hundreds of local Khmer workers who are paid VND250,000 - 300,000 a day. This is unseen in a place where up to 90% are ethnic minorities. And, Sao Mai Group has done everything to bring better life to them.

This shows that spillover effects of this renewable energy project not only help increase budget revenue and create jobs for people, but also generate other great values ​​that directly impact national energy security.

While building the hub of clean energy the foot of the Cam Mountain, Sterling Wilson Group engineers had a chance to catch a slug snake weighing nearly 40 kg and about 8 m in length in the construction site. This rare snake is sent to Tuc Dup Hill Historical Heritage Area for visitors to learn about an indigenous species of mysterious Thien Cam Son Mountain.

Ho Nhung