The country’s first solar power plant will start operating in November, U Maung Maung Kyaw, chief engineer of the Electric Supply Enterprise, said.

The power plant, in Minbu township, Magwe Region, is expected to produce 40 megawatts initially but will produce 170MW once fully operational, according to U Maung Maung Kyaw.

“Because this is our first project, we have to carefully monitor the system for weaknesses, correct these, and then we will produce more than 40MW,” he said.

The Electricity and Energy Ministry signed a public-private partnership agreement with the companies to set up plants that produce at least 150MW each in Mandalay’s Wundwin and Myingyan townships.

The ministry also signed agreements with private companies to set up more power plants in Sagaing, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw that can produce a combined total of 990 MW when fully operational.

It hopes to supply 8 percent of the country’s electricity through renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power, by 2020. By 2025, it expects that share to rise to 12pc.

U Maung Maung Kyaw said they will slowly increase solar and wind power depending on the national grid’s capacity for renewable energy.

In February, the ministry signed a technical cooperation agreement with Denmark related to wind energy. It also signed a memorandum of understanding with four companies on wind energy projects that can produce 6478MW.

Arrangements are also being made for a wind energy project in Magwe that can produce around 200MW, said the project manager of Infra Capital Myanmar-ReXe, a private renewable energy firm.

An agreement has been signed with the regional government to conduct feasibility studies that are expected to be finished soon. The project is expected to start in 2019 and be completed in early 2021.

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