500KV ground-mounted and grid-tied Solar PV project at Dechencholing

The Desuung Skilling Project on Bhutan Solar Initiative Project (BSIP) 500kW ground-mounted grid-tied Solar PV project at Dechencholing was inaugurated on June 28, 2023. The Prime Minister Dasho Dr Lotay Tshering was the Chief Guest.

Bhutan Solar Initiative Project (BSIP) set up under Royal Command has implemented two Solar PV Projects in Thimphu. 250kW Rooftop Centenary Farmers Market (CMF) and 500kW Ground mounted at Dechencholing. Both projects are grid-tied, meaning the electricity generated is directly fed into the BPC grid, and are without batteries.

Lyonpo Karma Dorji said, “This is a very interesting project I myself studied electrical engineering so this is in my heart what the desuup and TTI graduates have done is very impressive. Firstly I would like to say it is an impressive project and very important. As we know our country moves forward we need to stress this to have energy security. During winter we import about 500 megawatts of electricity and this year alone I think we paid about a 1.5 billion worth of electricity that we brought from India. So this is very important as we need to have alternative sources of energy. Our hydropower project is also doing well but we also know that due to climate change water sources are drying up”.

He added that it is very important that we have alternative sources of energy. We should be energy self-sufficient we need to develop and move forward to help industries, and then if our country needs to move forward we do need to have enough energy so this is a very encouraging and also very good alternative.

Lyonpo said the world is moving forward for green energy and whatever production is happening or whatever production is done if it is through clean and green energy there is value in the world.

“We don’t use energy sources that are not clean, and saying that I think that solar energy is one best form of clean energy.”

“We did the studies on renewable energy management master planning in 2016 and the reports say Bhutan has a capacity for 12 Giga watts of solar energy and 760 MW of wind so we have a lot to tap as there is a lot of opportunity for solar energy solar power to grow in Bhutan. There is a lot of potential and I think this is the right step.”

The 500kW ground-mounted project that has been done is done very nominally and has one of the lowest costs at Nu 54,000 per KW. It means that that it was very efficiently made and there was hard work put into it and  the completion time of 6 months is also impressive.

The Desuup and TTI graduate that were involved in this project gave their best to complete this project.

Lyonpo thanked the Desuup skilling program coordinator and other project management team that were involved in this project and was able to provide the needed leadership to be able to complete it in the shortest time possible and at very low cost.

“This is an example that we all need to look at and learn from this. Try to do it in the shortest time in good quality,” added Lyonpo

The Prime Minister said, “We are looking at the possibility to export energy to Bangladesh and India and the progress is quite good. That way we need a lot of energy to be generated.”

“I would like to thank Desuup and TTI who are involved in this project. It is a very proud moment for us and for me to know that we have the capacity and then the next upcoming projects will be handled purely by you all. This is the very great achievement and I am very happy I would like to say thank you to all who have been involved in this project and we are looking forward to the continuity of this that you all use your skill and get involved in such more upcoming projects that will benefit the nation as whole and also the world as whole,” the Prime Minister said.

It has taken BSIP six months to complete the projects – starting from design through procurement to installation and testing.  Implementation of the projects started in December 2022 and both plants have been commissioned.

CFM rooftop plant was formally inaugurated on June 4, 2023.  The inauguration of the Dechencholing plant was for June 28, 2023. It was test charged and commissioned on June 9, 2023

Desuup Nima Lhamo said, “Being a part of this project is one of the best decisions I have ever made so far. Through this OJT I have got to learn the working mechanism of solar PV modules which includes the critical working of the inverter and most importantly real-site installation. A few of us also got an opportunity to attend international certified training by experts from solar energy international (SEI) where we learned detailed designing for the installation of the PV system”.

She added that the project implementation unit (PIU) was well-planned and organized. Mr. Karma Tshering who was initially thier chief made sure that all the desuups who were going to be involved in the project were aware of what they were going to be doing. Before this they had to undergo one month of intensive basic electrical training at Trongsa DSP center and amongst them the top 15 best-performing desuups got to undertake the SEI training course.

For quality assurance, they also had a separate expert called upon at the end of the project. They started their groundwork in March have completed the 750kw project within 4 months.

Similarly, Desuup Tshewang Penjor said, “We were given training on electrical house wiring for a month on the De-sung skilling program. After completing our training we were placed with OGT on a solar project with very professional people, and excellent workmanship and did the job before the due date, and from start to finish they were excellent. I knew about this solar project from Pema Wangdi chief engineer of DSP and sir Karma Tshering who is an electrical engineer and the project provided us critical career skills”.

He said he chose this program as it was a great opportunity for him as he completed his engineering degree which helped in getting good experience, qualities, and a combination of abilities and they can apply them to perform tasks well.

The projects have been funded by Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation (BTFEC) which provided a total fund amount of Nu 50 million – Nu 16.5 million as a grant and Nu 33.5 as a loan at zero interest rate.

The Projects have been implemented to further the Royal Vision to: Work towards the country’s energy security needs, Demonstrate Bhutan’s continued leadership in environmental conservation Establish technical and economic viability of solar PV in the country and pave the way for the uptake of solar PV by both private and public entities, and Build local capacity in this growing and important sector.  

The project has been implemented by in-house Bhutanese engineers, 45 desuup from DSP, and 4 TTI graduates, with an external expert engaged for a short duration (20 days) for quality assurance. 

The total cost for the Dechencholing project is Nu 27 million with a per Kilowatt cost of Nu 54,000/- making it the most cost-effective solar installation in the country to date and also one of the lowest in the region.

Today, CFM and Dechencholing plants are individually the largest solar installations in the country.  The projects are also the first to install the highest capacity panels in the country of 650 watts.

BSIP has submitted a generation tariff of Nu 4.59 per unit to the Government for approval.  

The Dechencholing plant is expected to generate an annual electricity of 835,000 Units (kWHr) and a revenue of Nu 3.8 million.

The panels cover a ground area of 1.2 acres. Soon the solar project is going to have a second phase.

500KV ground-mounted and grid-tied Solar PV project at Dechencholing

Pema Dechen/Thimphu

The Desuung Skilling Project on Bhutan Solar Initiative Project (BSIP) 500kW ground-mounted grid-tied Solar PV project at Dechencholing was inaugurated on June 28, 2023. The Prime Minister Dasho Dr Lotay Tshering was the Chief Guest.

Bhutan Solar Initiative Project (BSIP) set up under Royal Command has implemented two Solar PV Projects in Thimphu. 250kW Rooftop Centenary Farmers Market (CMF) and 500kW Ground mounted at Dechencholing. Both projects are grid-tied, meaning the electricity generated is directly fed into the BPC grid, and are without batteries.

Lyonpo Karma Dorji said, “This is a very interesting project I myself studied electrical engineering so this is in my heart what the desuup and TTI graduates have done is very impressive. Firstly I would like to say it is an impressive project and very important. As we know our country moves forward we need to stress this to have energy security. During winter we import about 500 megawatts of electricity and this year alone I think we paid about a 1.5 billion worth of electricity that we brought from India. So this is very important as we need to have alternative sources of energy. Our hydropower project is also doing well but we also know that due to climate change water sources are drying up”.

He added that it is very important that we have alternative sources of energy. We should be energy self-sufficient we need to develop and move forward to help industries, and then if our country needs to move forward we do need to have enough energy so this is a very encouraging and also very good alternative.

Lyonpo said the world is moving forward for green energy and whatever production is happening or whatever production is done if it is through clean and green energy there is value in the world.

“We don’t use energy sources that are not clean, and saying that I think that solar energy is one best form of clean energy.”

“We did the studies on renewable energy management master planning in 2016 and the reports say Bhutan has a capacity for 12 Giga watts of solar energy and 760 MW of wind so we have a lot to tap as there is a lot of opportunity for solar energy solar power to grow in Bhutan. There is a lot of potential and I think this is the right step.”

The 500kW ground-mounted project that has been done is done very nominally and has one of the lowest costs at Nu 54,000 per KW. It means that that it was very efficiently made and there was hard work put into it and  the completion time of 6 months is also impressive.

The Desuup and TTI graduate that were involved in this project gave their best to complete this project.

Lyonpo thanked the Desuup skilling program coordinator and other project management team that were involved in this project and was able to provide the needed leadership to be able to complete it in the shortest time possible and at very low cost.

“This is an example that we all need to look at and learn from this. Try to do it in the shortest time in good quality,” added Lyonpo

The Prime Minister said, “We are looking at the possibility to export energy to Bangladesh and India and the progress is quite good. That way we need a lot of energy to be generated.”

“I would like to thank Desuup and TTI who are involved in this project. It is a very proud moment for us and for me to know that we have the capacity and then the next upcoming projects will be handled purely by you all. This is the very great achievement and I am very happy I would like to say thank you to all who have been involved in this project and we are looking forward to the continuity of this that you all use your skill and get involved in such more upcoming projects that will benefit the nation as whole and also the world as whole,” the Prime Minister said.

It has taken BSIP six months to complete the projects – starting from design through procurement to installation and testing.  Implementation of the projects started in December 2022 and both plants have been commissioned.

CFM rooftop plant was formally inaugurated on June 4, 2023.  The inauguration of the Dechencholing plant was for June 28, 2023. It was test charged and commissioned on June 9, 2023

Desuup Nima Lhamo said, “Being a part of this project is one of the best decisions I have ever made so far. Through this OJT I have got to learn the working mechanism of solar PV modules which includes the critical working of the inverter and most importantly real-site installation. A few of us also got an opportunity to attend international certified training by experts from solar energy international (SEI) where we learned detailed designing for the installation of the PV system”.

She added that the project implementation unit (PIU) was well-planned and organized. Mr. Karma Tshering who was initially thier chief made sure that all the desuups who were going to be involved in the project were aware of what they were going to be doing. Before this they had to undergo one month of intensive basic electrical training at Trongsa DSP center and amongst them the top 15 best-performing desuups got to undertake the SEI training course.

For quality assurance, they also had a separate expert called upon at the end of the project. They started their groundwork in March have completed the 750kw project within 4 months.

Similarly, Desuup Tshewang Penjor said, “We were given training on electrical house wiring for a month on the De-sung skilling program. After completing our training we were placed with OGT on a solar project with very professional people, and excellent workmanship and did the job before the due date, and from start to finish they were excellent. I knew about this solar project from Pema Wangdi chief engineer of DSP and sir Karma Tshering who is an electrical engineer and the project provided us critical career skills”.

He said he chose this program as it was a great opportunity for him as he completed his engineering degree which helped in getting good experience, qualities, and a combination of abilities and they can apply them to perform tasks well.

The projects have been funded by Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation (BTFEC) which provided a total fund amount of Nu 50 million – Nu 16.5 million as a grant and Nu 33.5 as a loan at zero interest rate.

The Projects have been implemented to further the Royal Vision to: Work towards the country’s energy security needs, Demonstrate Bhutan’s continued leadership in environmental conservation Establish technical and economic viability of solar PV in the country and pave the way for the uptake of solar PV by both private and public entities, and Build local capacity in this growing and important sector.  

The project has been implemented by in-house Bhutanese engineers, 45 desuup from DSP, and 4 TTI graduates, with an external expert engaged for a short duration (20 days) for quality assurance. 

The total cost for the Dechencholing project is Nu 27 million with a per Kilowatt cost of Nu 54,000/- making it the most cost-effective solar installation in the country to date and also one of the lowest in the region.

Today, CFM and Dechencholing plants are individually the largest solar installations in the country.  The projects are also the first to install the highest capacity panels in the country of 650 watts.

BSIP has submitted a generation tariff of Nu 4.59 per unit to the Government for approval.  

The Dechencholing plant is expected to generate an annual electricity of 835,000 Units (kWHr) and a revenue of Nu 3.8 million.

The panels cover a ground area of 1.2 acres. Soon the solar project is going to have a second phase.

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