Bhutan launches ground-mounted PV tender


Bhutan Power Corp. (BPC) has launched a tender to build the country’s first ground-mounted solar plant.

At just 180 kW, the planned project is Bhutan’s first attempt to deploy renewables other than hydroelectricity, which covers almost all of its power demand. According to the latest statistics from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Bhutan had not installed any PV or wind capacity by the end of 2019.

The small solar plant will be built in Rubessa, Wangduephodrang district. Prospective developers have until Oct. 7 to submit their bids.

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The project will test the technical feasibility of PV projects in the tiny, landlocked country, BPC said.

Bhutan currently has 2.33 GW of installed generating capacity, all of which comes from hydropower. However, IRENA estimates that the mountainous country could host up to 12 GW of solar and 760 MW of wind capacity. IRENA is pushing the government to update its energy policies to take advantage of falling solar and wind power costs. The nation already has achieved almost universal access to electricity, but it often has to import electricity from neighboring countries, especially in the winter.

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