EVN to cut 1.7 billion kWh of renewable energy due to excessive generation

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The Director of the National Load Dispatch Center informed that in 2020, solar power exploded in Vietnam, and it is forecasted that from now to the end of this year, wind power will continue to boom. Therefore, many power plants in the Central and the South of Vietnam have had to temporarily shut down at noon when the output of renewable energy is high.
On the afternoon of April 4, in Hanoi, Vietnam Electricity (EVN) held an exchange with economic and energy experts in Vietnam about the operation of the national power system in the context that renewable energy sources boom, making it difficult for the process of operating, transmitting, and regulating electrical loads.

According to Mr. Nguyen Duc Ninh, Director of the National Load Dispatch Center, currently, renewable energy tends to explode in our country. In 2019, about 5,000 megawatts (MWs) of solar power connected to the national grid. By 2020, there were nearly 5,000 MWs of grid-connected solar power and about 7,000-8,000 MWs of rooftop solar power. Mr. Nguyen Duc Ninh forecasted that from now to the end of 2021, about 4,000-5,000 MWs of wind power would go online.

Meanwhile, the demand for electrical loads this year is forecast to remain as low as last year due to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Last year, the load growth was only over 3 percent, much lower than the plan. In the first four months of this year, the load growth was only 5-7 percent, much lower than the same period of previous years. Mr. Nguyen Duc Ninh admitted that this situation makes the operation of the national power grid more difficult this year if the output of renewable energy is not controlled and reduced.

"To meet the maximum capacity for the renewable energy power system, currently, during operating hours at noon, especially from around 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., we are operating the system by halting most of the hydroelectric plants in the Central and Southern regions where there are many renewable energy projects,” said Mr. Ninh.

However, according to the Director of the National Load Dispatch Center, the closure of hydropower plants is not simple because it must comply with the provisions of 11 inter-reservoir operation processes approved by the Prime Minister, including regulations on minimum generation capacity and minimum discharge flow, to ensure sufficient water supply for the downstream regions in the dry season.

Therefore, to remove difficulties for hydropower plants, EVN plans to cut about 1.7 billion kWh of wind and solar power this year. From the beginning of the year to now, the output of renewable energy that must the cut is about 450 million kWh, accounting for about 7-9 percent of the output of renewable energy, mainly solar power. Mr. Nguyen Duc Ninh said that this reduction is necessary.

By Van Phuc – Translated by Gia Bao

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