Vietnam’s Long An province launches its first solar project

BCG Bang Duong Energy JSC, along with officials from Long An’s Thanh Hoa District held a ground breaking ceremony on September 16th to launch Long An provinces first solar power project. Construction on the project will begin immediately and be complete by June 2019. 

The project has been designed to have a capacity of 40.6MW capacity and will contribute 60 million KWh annually to the national electric grid. Total investment in the project is $42 million USD. To support the solar farm’s operations, an internal road system will be built along with a reservoir pump system. Additionally, a110kV substation in Thanh Hoa District will be built along with a 9km transmission line.

Nguyen Ho Ham, Chairman of BCG Bang Duong spoke at the ground braking ceremony and said that the company plans to co-operate closely with world-leading firms in solar power to ensure both environmental safety and quality. As an example of this cooperation, Mr. Nguyen said that: “BCG Dang Duong has partnered up with Syntegra Solar of Germany as the designer and monitor and the solar panels used in the project were made using the latest technology.”

Vietnam is deemed as one of the countries in the world that can benefit the most from the development of solar energy projects. On average, the country receives 1,600 hours of sunlight each year. Several provinces in the country receive an average of 2,400 ~ 2,700 sunlight hours, making them extremely viable for solar energy projects. 

Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) said that it has approved more than 70 solar energy projects across the country that are to come online by June 2019. Renewable energy projects that come online before June 2019 are guaranteed to have their energy bought by the national government at preferential rates. 

Since the announcement of its preferential rate policies, many domestic and international companies have invested in new projects. The governments energy plan VII, has a goal of 1,000MW of new renewable energy projects coming online by 2020. The 70 new projects that the government has approved will generate 3,000 MW by 2019, thereby exceeding all government expectations.
Among the well-known International companies that are investing in Vietnam’s renewable energy field are: ACWA Power, SY Panel Group, AIN Group, Gamesa Renewable Energy, Gulf Energy Development, InfraCo Asia Development, Siemens, Sunseap Group and Tata Power.

Vietnam’s energy policy calls for a mix of power generation sources. One of these sources is coal power. Under current government plans, 26 new coal power plants will be built in the country. Environmental and finance experts have called for the government to stop these developments and replace them with renewable energy sources so that the country will have a cleaner environment and save more than $200 million USD annually that will be spent importing coal. 

Companies involved in the renewable energy business say that if the government decides to continue with its preferential energy rate policies that additional foreign investment into the renewable energy sector will continue and the country can better realize its energy, environmental and financial goals.