Illustrative image. (Source: VNA)

Son La (VNA) – Approximately 36,400 ethnic minority people living in 313 remote villages in the mountainous northwestern province of Son La do not yet have access to the national power grid, Son La Power Company said.

The provincial People’s Committee asked the local power company and the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) to allocate funds for the construction of electricity networks in off-grid villages in Thuan Chau, Muong La, Bac Yen and Phu Yen districts alongside upgrades to villages’ self-built power networks.

The Son La Power Company plans to provide electricity to 72 out of the 313 off-grid villages by the end of 2016.

Son La province aims to bring national power access to 98 percent of its total ethnic minority villages, or 97.5 percent of ethnic minority households, by 2020.

The locality is home to the Son La Hydropower Plant, the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia; the Huoi Quang Hydropower Plant; and the Nam Chien Hydropower Plant. There are also 48 small-scale plants which have capacities of 3 to 30 megawatts.

The Son La Hydropower Plant has a designed capacity of 2,400 megawatts and is capable of generating nearly 10.25 trillion kWh per year.-VNA