Nepal's largest solar plant built by Chinese company starts producing electricity

Updated: June 5, 2020 Source:
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Risen Energy, a Chinese company contracted to develop Nepal's largest solar plant run by the state-owned Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), has produced 1.25MW electricity from the 25MW plant, NEA said Thursday.

The electricity generated from the plant was connected to the national grid on Thursday, the state owned power utility body said in a press statement.

Risen Energy has been developing the solar plant in Nuwakot district, central Nepal, after winning the contract of the project, which is funded by the World Bank under its Grid Solar and Energy Efficiency Project to support the NEA.

The NEA said electricity produced by the solar plant was connected with a Debighat Power Substation close to the solar plant, bringing the electricity to the national grid. "In the next one and half months, a total of 10MW electricity will be produced from this solar plant," NEA Managing Director Kulman Ghising said, according to the statement of the NEA.

He said that although the NEA had plans to add 15MW by April end, it could not happen due to the impact of the ongoing nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

Nepal is under lockdown since March 24.

Sanjaya Shrestha, authorized representative of Risen told Xinhua on Thursday that the Chinese company targeted to complete the entire project by the end of December. "Currently, construction work has been delayed due to the lockdown and we are not getting environmental clearance to set up solar equipments in two locations," he said.

The solar equipments will be set up in six locations on the bank of Trishuli river in Nuwakot to produce 25MW of electricity, according to Shrestha. The Chinese company will be involved in operation and maintenance of the plant for the next five years and handover the plant in good condition, the NEA said.

The power utility body said the production of the electricity from the solar plant will help the NEA, only power utility body of Nepal, to diversify the sources of power as the country is heavily dependent on hydropower.

The Nepali government aims to produce 15,000MW electricity in the next 10 years. While most of the power will be generated from the hydropower projects while 5-10 percent power will be acquired from alternative energy such as solar plants as per the plan.

Meanwhile, the Chinese company plans to develop more solar plants in Nepal. According to Shrestha, it plans to develop more solar plants in Nepal with its own investment and sell in the Nepali market. "We will focus on solar plants with storage system," he told Xinhua. 

Editor: 刘婷