Asian Development Bank to support 2GW of solar and energy storage in Cambodia

ADB will assist Cambodian utility EDC in bidding out a 100MW solar PV pilot project to the private sector which could mobilise up to US$100 million. Image: Mariana Proenca via Unsplash.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed a transaction advisory service mandate with Cambodian utility Électricité du Cambodge (EDC) to support the development of 2GW of solar power in Cambodia.

Under the mandate ADB will help EDC conduct a study on opportunities for solar power capacity addition co-located with battery energy storage system (BESS) to be implemented from 2022 until 2030.

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Moreover, the ADB will also assist EDC in bidding out a 100MW pilot project to the private sector which is expected to mobilise US$100 million of investments and could serve as a model to be replicated for faster growth of renewables in Cambodia.

With the development of 2GW of solar power, Cambodia will fast track its solar output which was at less than 450MW (see chart below) in 2021, according to data from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), and was almost marginal in 2015 with 12.2MW of net installed capacity.

The country’s new ‘Power Development Masterplan’ aims to increase solar PV capacity in Cambodia to more than 3GW in 2040, with a need to improve grid stability through the adoption of BESS.

Cleo Kawawaki, head of ADB’s office of public–private partnership, said: “We hope to contribute to this effort by supporting a well-planned pipeline for transparent bids that attract active competition to optimise the efficiency, innovation, and capital of the private sector to benefit the people of Cambodia.”

Furthermore, the programme will help lower electricity costs and improve its energy security, according to Kawawaki, adding that the programme is Cambodia’s “most ambitious yet in the renewable sector”.

ADB continues its support in Cambodia’s solar sector with its largest mandate yet, after financing a 100MW solar park in the Kampong Chhnang province.

Recently the ADB helped finance Bhutan’s first utility-scale solar PV plant that will have a minimum capacity of 17.38MWp.

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