Published on : Tuesday, January 5, 2021
In these times of the pandemic, most would-be travelers can only dream of escaping to sun-drenched island retreats. Some of these islands like Cambodia’s Koh Rong Samloem, are channeling the sun to future-proof their energy supply and for keeping climate change at bay.
This year, Canopy Power, operating as engineering, procurement and construction partner to Total Solar Distributed Generation, will build a new solar-based power plant on Koh Rong Samloem, which lies just off the coast of Sihanoukville, and where around 60 hotels, resorts and guest houses depend on their own diesel generators.
The plant will be owned and operated by Total Solar DG, a subsidiary of French energy giant Total, providing renewably generated electricity to a licensed local electricity retailer. This project will provide more than 50% of the island’s needs from renewable energy, displacing around 600,000 liters of diesel per annum.
“Converting an entire island from diesel to solar-battery power in what is the largest project of its kind, is a milestone in our regional portfolio of over 600 MW of projects in operation and development,” said Gavin Adda, the CEO of Total Solar DG.
After minor delays, work on electrification of Koh Rong Samloem began in late 2020 and its completion is expected in the second quarter of this year.
The island’s population of around 300 sustains itself with fishing, tourism and small-scale crop cultivation, and is largely concentrated in the two villages of M’Pai Bay in the north and Koh Rong Sanloem Phumi Kang Khnong in the south.
Tourists to the island cite its natural beauty, fantastic snorkeling, jungle walks to historic sites and unreliable, and in some areas non-existent power supply.
The Canopy Power-Total Generation DG project will deliver 24-hour electricity security, substantially reducing noise and air pollution caused by diesel generators.