Korea’s Power Plus Doosung Vina has just received an investment certificate to build a 30-megawatt solar power plant in the central province of Binh Thuan, adding much-needed funding into the renewable energy sector in Vietnam.
According to the Binh Thuan Department of Industry and Trade, the Tuy Phong solar power project has the total investment capital of $66 million and is expected to begin construction in the next six months, with operations slated to start in 2017.
The plant will comprise 100,000 solar panels and supply 50 million kWh of electricity per year. This is the first solar project in Binh Thuan, which has great potential for solar energy.
Other foreign investors are doing research in preparation for future investments in this sector in Vietnam. Previously, the US-based ACO Investment Group expressed an interest in building a 50MW solar power farm in Binh Thuan, according to provincial authorities.
“We are serious about this project and we are trying to complete all procedures to push it ahead as soon as possible. A feasibility study is being undertaken,” said ACO.
Last year, Vietnam’s first solar power project, which is backed by Thien Tan Joint Stock Company, broke ground in the central province of Quang Ngai.
Chairman of Thien Tan Joint Stock Company Huynh Kim Lap stated that “We believe many investors will start green energy projects in the future, and that renewable energy projects will eventually contribute considerable funds to the state budget.”
Upon completion later this year, the project will supply 26 million kWh of electricity to the national power grid.
Vietnam is one of the countries with the world’s highest annual sunshine allocation on the solar radiation map, giving the nation an advantage in developing a prosperous solar power industry. Renewable energy (such as solar power) is growing in importance, especially in the context of the increasing demand for electricity and the environmental risks of fossil fuels and other traditional energy sources.
According to EuroCham’s White Book 2016 report issued last week, the targets set for renewable energy in Vietnam’s power development master plan appear to be unachievable if the government does not issue a comprehensive renewable energy plan, which should include solar power, biomass, and biogas in addition to wind.
Over the past few years, several foreign and local investors have proposed building renewable energy projects in the country, but the proposals haven’t been realised due to a lack of policy support, which would make the investments less risky.
These include a $55.8 million solar power project proposed by a South Korean company in the southern city of Can Tho, and a proposal for a $240 million solar project by a consortium between South Korea’s Woojin and Kunhwa in the central province of Quang Nam, among others.
Lap from Thien Tan Joint Stock Company told VIR that the investors were waiting for more support mechanisms in this sector. If successful, the development of renewable energy would contribute to the energy sector as well as to environmental protection and reducing pollution.