Company vows to supply solar power to 500 villages

Mandalay Yoma Solar Energy, which operates solar mini-grids to power rural regions, will generate solar power in 500 villages within three to five years, the company said.

“First, we will supply electricity to 50 villages, and we estimate that up to 500 villages will be electrified within three to five years,” said Nathalie Riseau, the company’s director.

Mandalay Yoma signed a cooperation agreement for the work with Engie, one of the largest renewable energy companies in the world.

The company now operates solar mini-grids in Sagaing, Magwe and Mandalay regions and plans to install 50 solar power systems in 2019-2020.

Officials of France’s Engie said the project would require an investment US$313 million.

Myanmar hopes to provide electricity to all villages across the country by 2030 by installing home solar power systems in off-grid areas and building solar mini-grids.

About ten investors are operating about 45 solar mini-grids, according to U Khant Zaw, director general of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation’s Department of Rural Development.

“Around 100 projects are expected to be carried out this year, including three that will be signed with Mandalay Yoma this month,” he said.

Solar mini-grids are built with 60 percent of funding provided by the government and 40pc provided by investors and users.

“We would like the projects to be built with 100pc funding from investors,” he said, but there are still restrictions on investors in such projects.

“We’re not sure if people in areas (where mini-grids are built) will ever be connected to the national grid. This worries investors,” U Khant Zaw said.

Source: Myanmar Times

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