US helps Vietnam develop renewable energy

(VOV) - The US is willing to provide technical assistance and share experience in developing renewable energy in Vietnam, US Consul General Rena Bitter has said.

Bitter was speaking at a joint Vietnam-US workshop on wind power cooperation in HCM City on February 20.

She noted many US agencies have committed to renewable energy development in Vietnam, citing a clean energy project by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and a wind turbine supply contract between General Electric (GE) of the US and Cong Ly Co. Ltd. of Vietnam.

In addition, the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has received Vietnamese experts to study renewable energy in the US.

GE and Cong Ly signed a contract in late 2013 to supply wind turbines to Bac Lieu wind farm project, marking the first cooperation deal of its kind between Vietnam and the US.

The project, at an investment of VND5.2 trillion and a design capacity of 99.1MW, has 62 wind turbines. The wind farm has so far generated a total of 16MW.

A Cong Ly representative said under a contract between the US EXIM Bank and the Vietnam Development Bank, the US side proposed funding the Mekong Delta Wind Power Centre at a total cost of VND25 trillion.

The project will be carried out in Bac Lieu, Soc Trang and Tra Vinh provinces which are appropriate for wind power development in Vietnam.

Pham Trong Thuc, head of the New and Renewable Energy Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said Vietnam-US cooperation in wind power will help Vietnam develop renewable energy and ensure national energy security in the future.

He said with a coastline of more than 3,000km Vietnam has great potential for wind power development. Yet, wind power generation remains modest.

Investors have registered 48 wind power projects with a combined capacity of 4,876MW, but only three of them have been operational.

In its renewal energy development plan, Vietnam aims to raise its wind power output from 1,000MW by 2020 to 6,200MW by 2030.