The first 35MW TTC Phong Dien Solar Plant has been put into operation in Vietnam, adding to the trend of renewable energy production and consumption across the nation.
On October 5, TTC Group and Gia Lai Electricity JSC (GEC)—a member of TTC Group—held the inauguration ceremony of TTC Phong Dien Solar Power Plant in My Hoa hamlet, Dien Loc commune, Phong Dien District, Thua Thien Hue province.
Invested by Gia Lai Electricity JSC, TTC Phong Dien Solar Power Plant is located about 50 km to the north of Hue City and about 16 km to the east of Phong Dien Town centre. The 45-hectare plant has a capacity of 35MW and total investment capital of nearly $42.9 million.
The project began its construction in January 2018 with some 300 domestic and foreign workers and engineers. 145,560 solar panels have been installed with advanced technology and equipment, bringing high efficiency. These panels will absorb the sun’s radiation and convert it into electricity to then feed it to the power transmission system.
TTC Phong Dien Solar Power Plant can now generate electricity with a capacity of about 60 million kWh per year, equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of about 32,628 households in Vietnam. It is estimated to reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 20,503 tonnes per year. In 2019, the capacity is expected to expand to 29.5MW on a 38.5-hectare plant of solar panels.
Speaking at the event, representatives of TTC Group said: “The implementation and operation of the TTC Phong Dien Solar Power Plant are important for TTC Group and GEC. Although we are relatively new to this sector, the positive policies of the government and the efforts of the business show that Vietnam has enough fundamentals in developing clean energy. It also contributes to the national energy supply, ensuring national energy security, as well as meeting the electricity demand of the people.”
“It is very encouraging to see the Phong Dien solar power plant go online, paving the way for the development of the Vietnamese solar energy sector by leveraging the private sector. As a development institution and a GEC shareholder, IFC believes GEC is on the right track to tap into the rich potential of Vietnam’s green energy sector, improving the national energy supply capacity through expanding the supply of reliable and clean energy,” said Kyle Kelhofer, IFC country manager for Vietnam, Cambodia, and Lao PDR.
From left to right: IFC country manager for Vietnan, Cambodia, and Lao PDR Kyle Kelhofer, TTC Group chairwoman Huynh Bich Ngoc, and board director of GEC Deepak Khanna at the inauguration.
Apart from TTC Phong Dien Solar Power Plant, it is expected that within the fourth quarter of this year GEC will officially put into operation TTC Krong Pa Solar Power Plant in Gia Lai province. The $60.3 million solar energy project has a capacity of 49MW.
Back in 2016, IFC, together with Armstrong S.E. Clean Energy Fund (Armstrong), a dedicated renewable energy private equity fund based in Singapore, invested in GEC. IFC and Armstrong respectively took 16 and 20 per cent equity stake in GEC.
The partnership with GEC was the first investment for both two investors in the Vietnamese power sector. As shareholders, they will help the company expand its hydropower portfolio and invest in other renewable energy segments, such as wind and solar power.
GEC is one of the largest private sector hydropower players in Vietnam with 84.4MW of installed capacity across 15 run-of-the-river small-scale hydropower plants. Vietnam’s electricity consumption has been growing at twice the speed as its economy over the past few years. With an expanding renewable energy portfolio, GEC will contribute to the government’s goal of increasing Vietnam’s installed power capacity by 14 per cent per annum between 2015 and 2030.