VIENTIANE, Lao PDR – Today, the White House announced the U.S. Trade and Development Agency’s first grant in Lao PDR during President Obama’s historic visit to the country. The Agency is providing a $444,784 grant to help develop a 20-megawatt solar plant that could power up to 30,000 households.
During his remarks, President Obama highlighted the importance of partnership between the United States and Lao PDR, particularly in clean energy: “As Laos works to meet its growing need for energy, I want to work with you to pursue clean, renewable energies like solar.”
USTDA’s grant will help Pacific Star Capital Health Care Co. Ltd, a privately owned Lao company, evaluate the technical and commercial viability of the project and provide the detailed technical analyses necessary to secure financing for the solar power plant’s construction and operation. Renewable Assets LLC, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, will conduct the feasibility study.
Once fully realized, the project would be the first large-scale, non-hydro renewable energy project in Lao PDR, supporting the country’s goals of diversifying its energy mix. Its implementation could increase the national power supply in Lao PDR, as the solar energy produced would provide a natural complement to Laos’ hydropower during the dry season.
The grant agreement is emblematic of the growing bilateral relationship. President Obama’s three-day state visit highlighted expanding economic ties, as well as many other areas of growing collaboration between the United States and Lao PDR.