Vietnam won’t add wind, solar power in 2022

The Vietnam Ministry of Industry and Trade will not add any more wind and solar power into this year’s 2022 plan, due to a lack of input facilities to transfer them to the national grid.

At the 2021 review meeting of the National Load Dispatch Centre on January 10, its deputy director Nguyen Quoc Trung said the total electricity produced and imported including rooftop solar power output was expected to reach 275.5 billion kWh this year, up 7.9 per cent compared to 2021.

Trung said that total hydropower output was expected to be 82.5 billion kWh, 3.8 billion kWh higher than in 2021.

Traditional power sources expected to come into operation in 2022 were 3,407MW, including large thermal power plants with a capacity of 600MW each plant, such as the Nghi Son 2 and Song Hau 1, with no more wind power, farm solar power and rooftop solar power to the grid this year.

Trung also said the southeast gas source would reach 13.5-14.5 million cubic metres per day, while the southwest gas sources would reach from 3.9-4.5 million cubic metres in the year.

Buying electricity from China with an output of about 380 million kWh in May and June was also expected.

For the north of Vietnam, Trung said the peak load was expected to grow by 9.5-13 per cent, or increase by 2,497-2,870MW in the year.

Though the north will have many potential risks of shortages during peak capacity, especially during the peak hot months from May to July, the National Load Dispatch Centre has proposed asked to adjust the repair schedule, changing the wiring in Nghi Son when necessary so that the Nghi Son 2 plant could supply the region when necessary, together with calculating the purchase of Chinese electricity under the direction of Vietnam Electricity (EVN).

“Currently, low cost gas fields are decreasing while high cost gas fields were put into operation with the policy that BOT [build-operate-transfer] gas-fired power plants continue to be used, leading to the higher cost of new gas fields, affecting the electricity cost of the whole system,” Trung said.

Even after energising all approved new projects to ensure power supply to important load centres such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City as well as to release renewable energy (RE), most of the 500kV transformers were at full load.

“The using of RE sources in 2022 continues to face many difficulties, because the power grid has suffered with the amount of RE sources that have been put into operation in recent years,” Trung said.

The challenges were reported in the provinces of Binh Dinh, Khanh Hoa, Phu Yen, Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan, Ca Mau, Bac Lieu, Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Kon Tum and Gia Lai – the latter four of which border Cambodia.

In addition, with the increasing rate of RE sources put into operation, the problem of stabilising the power system in real time was still a big challenge, he added.

Last year, the total new power source put into operation was 7,433MW, bringing the total installed capacity of the national power system to 78,682MW including 75 wind power plants with a total capacity of about 3,600MW.

By the end of 2021, the total number of national dispatching plants was 337, an increase of 73 plants compared to 2020.

Currently, there are 104 plants directly participating in the power market with a total installed capacity of 27,990MW, accounting for 36.8 per cent of the total installed capacity of power plants. During the year, four new factories entered the market with a total capacity of 372MW.

In addition, the national dispatcher energised, tested and accepted many important transmission lines and transformers projects on the 500kV power grid such as energising eight new transformers with a total capacity of 4,387MVA, increasing the capacity of five transformers with a total capacity of 3,900MW, and 14 newly energised 500kV lines with a total length of 2,022km.

At the same time, the industry has built 203 new 220kV-110kV transformers with a total capacity of 13,016MVA, and 236 new sections of 220kV-110kV transmission lines with a total length of 3,450km.

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