After over one year under construction, the wind power project in Tuy Phong District, Binh Thuan Province, will be hooked up to the national electricity grid this monthThe largest wind

energy project SE Asia, once in operation, is expected to help boost

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regional socio-economic development and pave the way for further

exploitation of renewable energy sources in the country.

Located

on Highway 1A, the section running through Binh Thanh Commune, the Wind

Power Plant 1 is about 300 meters from the coast. This is an arid area

usually short in rainfall but abundant in wind.

Once the

installation of the five first wind turbines is complete, the investor,

Vietnam Renewable Energy (REVN), will have seven others installed. The

entire project is expected to produce a total capacity of 18 mega watts

in the first phase.

Every wind turbine weighs 78 tons, are built

on towers 85 meters in height with three 37.5 – meter long blades. The

average capacity of each turbine is 1.5 mega watts.

All the technology and equipment are imported from Germany.

According to the chairman of

Tuy Phong District, Han Dac Thuan, the investment for the first phase

is estimated to exceed VND817 billion. In the second and third phases,

the wind farm will be expanded to accommodate a further 80 turbines.

The project is planned to be completed in 2011 and cost over VND2

trillion once finished.

A lever for boosting regional economic development

Although

covering a large area of land, the project in the commune, according to

Mr Thuan, is built mostly on deserted land. “It doesn’t occupy any

fertile agricultural land at all, but provides jobs and services to

local people,” he said.

Mr Thuan cited an example that of all

1,500 hectares of land reserved for wind energy projects in the region,

the Wind Power Plant 1 occupies just 150 hectares. Only 20 percent of

the used land is located on agricultural land, which has been left

unused for years because nothing can grow on it.

The project

initially raised public concern about noise pollution, but Mr Thuan

said, “Modern technology helps produce modern large turbines with low

sound at ground level. Standing next to a large turbine turning in a

strong breeze, the sound you will hear is not much louder than the wind

blowing in the trees. Even at a wind farm consisting of dozens of

turbines, the audible noise level is usually much less than that of

roadway traffic.”

Mr Thuan emphasized that the project, if

exploited appropriately, will not only supply another useful form of

energy to the country, but also help boost the regional socio-economic

development.

He pointed out that once the wind farm is complete,

dozens of wind farms under project 2 will be built to supply more power

to the region. Thanks to an adequate source of power supply, the region

will then be able to develop its tourism industry.

According to

Tuy Phong’s socio-economic development plans for the period between

2015 and 2020, Binh Thanh Commune is to extend its area to transform it

from a tourism zone into a tourist city, where visitors can come and

stay to enjoy the beaches and the landscape in the region.

At present in Binh Thuan Province, 10 investors are investing in 12 wind farms with a total capacity of over 2,000 mega watts.

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