The agreement, between U.S.-based ACO Investment Group and the Burma Ministry of Electric Power, paves the way for developing two 150 megawatt solar energy plants. The total project investment for the two projects is estimated at US$480 million.
The two 150 megawatt solar energy plants could account for 10 percent to 12 percent of Myanmar's power generation. The projects are expected to be operational by 2016.
United States Trade Representative Michael Froman stated:
Efforts like these support the ambitious definition of development that is at the heart of President Obama’s trade agenda. By promoting trade and investment, we are unlocking even more opportunities for workers and businesses in both countries that promote not only higher incomes at home and around the world, but also driving sustainable development. We’re doing this because we know that trade works best when its benefits are broadly shared.
Managed by ACO Investment Group’s portfolio company Convalt Energy, the project will bring much-needed power to Burma’s national grid. In addition to being 100% renewable, the project will complement Burma’s other renewable power sources. Burma depends heavily on hydropower, which decreases in output during the dry season, when solar sources are at their peak. When completed in 2016, the project is expected to account for 10–12 percent of the country’s power generation.
Communities in the Mandalay region will also benefit from the project’s investments in infrastructure and training. The project will boost the city’s manufacturing potential and resources and help provide power to develop the Myotha Industrial Zone, which is located within 15 miles of one of the power plants.