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This workshop was co-organized with Elia Grid International and focused on ‘tools and practices for system operators to reduce the costs of renewables connection and integration to the grid’.

In the beginning of March, Elia Grid International and Rent-A-Port Green Energy co-organized a workshop on the ‘tools and practices for system operators to reduce the costs of renewables connection and integration to the grid’ for a delegation from Electricity of Viet Nam (EVN) and its subsidiary, the National Power Transmission Corporation (NPT).

EVN is publicly owned and is the largest power company in Viet Nam, with subsidiaries active in generation, transmission, distribution and retail of electricity. NPT is the Vietnamese Transmission System Operator (TSO).

The delegation was chaired by Mr. Dang Huy Cuong, member of the Board of Directors of EVN, and Mr. Ngo Son Hai, Vice-President of EVN.

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Group picture of the delegation before the visit to C-Power (which was unfortunately cancelled due to foggy weather conditions)

 

The workshop program was a mix of:

Keynotes speeches and roundtables with following topics:

  • ‘Connection and integration of renewables in the grids, lessons learnt in Europe’, by Daniel Dobbeni, member of the Board of Directors of Rent-A-Port Green, former CEO of the Belgian TSO Elia, President of ENTSO-E and Chairman of GO15 (the association of the 19 largest Transport System Operators in the world);
  • ‘Challenges in construction, connection and operation of a remote wind farm at sea’, by Dirk Magnus, Contract and Knowledge Manager at C-Power, the firstly constructed far shore wind farm in the world;
  • ‘Rent-A-Port Green Energy company profile and initiatives for supporting renewable development and integration in Viet Nam’, by Pierre Bayart, C.O.O. of Rent-A-Port Green Energy.

 

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Round tables on ‘tools and practices for system operators to reduce the costs of renewables connection and integration to the grid

 

Technical site visits including:

  • A visit of one of the earliest onshore wind farms in Belgium, constructed in the early 2000s, located in an Industrial Zone around Brugge (the ‘Pathoekeweg’ Industrial Zone) connected to the pre-existing distribution grid and local demand;
  • A visit of C-Power, the first Belgian offshore wind farm and the first far shore (at 30km from the coast) wind farm in the world;
  • A visit of the Elia STEVIN project, developed to connect the offshore Belgian wind farms to the ‘backbone’ of the Belgian grid and the NEMO project aiming to interconnect Belgian and UK power systems.

 

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Site visit to Industrial Zone wind farm at Pathoekeweg and NEMO and STEVIN High Voltage Substation being built by Elia in Zeebrugge

 

This workshop also formed an opportunity for Rent-A-Port Green Energy to present its ‘embedded’ renewable energy generation projects on Rent-A-Port’s DEEP C Industrial Cluster in North Viet Nam (www.deepc.vn). With renewable electricity directly supplied to the manufactures in the industrial zone through the local distribution system, without feed-in into the national grid. The delegation expressed their support for this scheme, which poses no risk to overloading the national grid nor makes use of public subsidies and/or sovereign guarantees from Viet Nam through a guaranteed feed-tariff PPA with EVN.

Following reinsuring lessons learnt from renewable energy development in Europe could also be shared with the delegation during the workshop:

  • Although renewables development has been characterized by steep growth, partly due to insufficiently adaptive support systems, they have not caused any (near) black-out or other significant grid issues. During the period in which renewable sources constituted only 5 to 10% of the energy mix, their presence was even hardly noticed by the TSOs.
  • Development of renewables in Viet Nam will happen in a much more favorable context considering the huge needs in additional capacity, while power demand in Europe remained stable and even decreased during the advent of renewables.
  • Reaching ambitious targets in renewable generation requires the consideration of both large scale remote projects (which though often present underestimated challenges in terms of connection, grid integration, construction and operation) as well as the development of more moderate scale projects situated closest to existing demand and connected to a strong existing distribution grid, both conditions often being found in Industrial Zones.

Rent-A-Port Green Energy wishes to warmly thank EVN, NPT, all delegation members and in particular Mr. Cuong and Mr. Hai for the interactive workshop, Elia Grid International for the co-organization and Elicio for the courtesy and explanation when visiting the wind farm on Pathoekeweg.

 

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Exchange of gifts between Mr. Hai and Mr. Stordiau, Chairman of Rent-A-Port group (left) and between Mr. Cuong and Mr. Bayart; C.O.O. of Rent-A-Port Green Energy (right)