Following the completion of the installation of the first wind turbine under the Monsoon Wind Power Project, Lao Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone officially inaugurated the first turbine in Sekong Province, on 9 November, with the symbolic press of a button and the strike of a gong.
Upon completion, the project will be the largest wind farm in SEA and will have a capacity of 600 MW. The initiative, which is to be implemented in mountainous areas of Dak Cheung district, consists of 133 turbines, which will be spread over 1,000 hectares of concession land in Sekong Province.
According to the Authorized Signatory of the Monsoon Wind Power Company Limited, Niwat Adirek, each turbine will stand on a firm eco-friendly foundation that is approximately 22 meters wide, and 35 meters deep. The tower itself is 110 meters tall and is fitted with blades spanning 85.5 meters long.
Commenting on the event, Governor of Sekong Province Leklay Sivilay said that the project will help to improve the socio-economic standards of the surrounding areas, including ethnic groups, and help to develop infrastructure in the surrounding area, allowing access to more agricultural land and remote villages.
Under the current layout, named Envision, 608.93 hectares (ha) of communal land will be affected from the previous layout of 532.01 ha. However, the increased impact of communal land is primarily attributed to some WTGs and transmission lines being located on common land, in an effort to reduce the impact on agricultural land, non-timber forest product (NTFP) collection and cultural heritage areas, such as ceremonial grounds.
As for affected households, the ADB Monsoon Wind Power Project, Part 2 : Main Report states that around 340 families will be affected. They will be able to claim compensation through cash claims or land-for-land compensation.
The completion of the project also aims to boost tourism in the area, looking to capitalize on the growing trend of dispersed tourism.
The project is set to be complete by December 2025, including the construction of a 45-kilometer power line that will connect the Monsoon Wind Power Plant to Thanh My Substation in the central province of Quang Nam, Vietnam. The energy produced from this project will be sold to Vietnam Electricity as per a 25-year power purchase agreement.