Amid the sweaty power outages and the grinding soundtracks emanating from those lucky enough to have generators, there is some good news on the electricity front, with the Kingdom having invested in a series of solar power farms, including one that is set to come online in April, some four months ahead of schedule.
The government has been forced to implement rotating power outages in Phnom Penh over the past few weeks, and will continue to do so, with sections of the city losing electricity for between four and six hours each day. The outages have mostly followed a schedule, making it easier for residents to manage the negative effects, but those will be offset somewhat by the latest developments in the country’s move toward solar energy.
From mid-April, Cambodia’s newest solar farm – just outside Phnom Penh in Kampong Speu province – will go online, adding 20 megawatts to the city’s circulation. By August, it will be generating at its peak capacity of 60MW, according to officials from Electricite du Cambodge, the state electricity body.
Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has spoken at length on the current situation, asking residents to use both power and water as scarcely as possible through the dry season, said the country faces a total shortage of 400MW.
“We are facing a shortage of power and the EDC has made this aq priority issue, so the fact that we can get this project online ahead of schedule is pretty good,” EDC chairman Yim Viseth told the Khmer Times.
The government also recently revealed that it is in the initial stages of developing two much larger solar farms – in Pursat and Kampong Chhnang provinces – that will each generate 180MW, enough to cover the power outages currently plaguing families and businesses.