Red River Wind Power Project – Shedding light on the poor village

The floating village along the Red River (situated in Ngoc Thuy, Long Bien, Hanoi) consists of 28 low-income households who earn their living through the trade of pottery and recycled scraps. They live in slum-like conditions in thatched houses and rusted-out boats. Living too far from power stations, they are burdened by high electricity tariff rates (4,000 – 5,000 VND/kWh) and monthly electric losses. Thus, each household has to pay at least 200,000 – 300,000 VND per month for electric bill, which they can hardly afford.

The project has successfully installed the first 10 free-of-charge wind turbines for 10 households in the floating village along the Red River. Photo: 1516 Green Design

The “Red River Wind Power” project by architect Le Vu Cuong aimed to provide these poor families with a low-cost source of electricity to support their need for electricity usage. This is a non-profit project funded by Live & Learn Vietnam, Plan International-Vietnam and Australian Aid.

Wind power potential survey showed that the average wind speed on the river’s isle is about 3m/s, which is suitable to implement small-scale wind electric generators.

In May 2016, the project has successfully installed the first 10 free-of-charge wind turbines for 10 households in this area.

Wind turbines made from plastic bowls

Cuong’s unique wind turbines are made of eco-friendly reused materials which had been tested several times to ensure operational performance. One turbine consists of 4 main parts: blades (made from red plastic bowls), a stainless aluminum pole, a motor (from broken printer) and an energy panel. “Since residents living here are poor, we try to use materials that are cheap and easy to replace for the turbines”, said Cuong.

Architect Le Vu Cuong, Project manager

The wind power generator has a capacity of 20W/h. Each turbine produces enough energy to illuminate lamps in 3-4 hours a day, depending on the wind speed. The turbines are completely operated by natural wind power. When wind blows, the blades turn, making the motor rotate and generate electricity. A battery is charged to store power for lighting.

The project team is trying to enhance their design, using more durable and efficient materials. A wind turbine now costs about 1 million VND. In order to help more poor people, the team is seeking for funding to produce this model at a larger quantity and lower cost.

The model should be widely applied

Vietnam has many potential but underexploited areas for wind power utilization due to the considerable costs and complicated implementation. Cuong wants to expand his project to help low-income people in coastal regions, mountainous areas or islands. The project’s next target is to install 15 wind power systems in poor rural areas in Dong Chau, Thai Binh and SOS Children’s Village in Hanoi.

According to Cuong, the most important goal of this project is to encourage people to utilize wind power, making use of renewable energy for daily purposes. This will not only help to save natural resources, but also can mitigate the impact of climate change on a large scale.



For further information, please contact:

Vietnam Green Building Council

E: [email protected] | T: (+84) 436 291 107 

We look forward to receiving community support for this meaningful non-profit project.