Solar power investment rush poses an overload risk

Published onDecember 6, 2018

The investment rush in solar energy could end up testing Vietnam’s weak power infrastructure, experts say. They say that both transmission capacity and the ability of grids to absorb the energy produced by new projects are suspect, as of now. The 9.35 U.S. cents per kWh Feed in Tariff (FIT) for solar power in Vietnam has sparked an investment rush. The latest project to be completed is the 49MW Krong Pa plant in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai. It began operations last week. The investor, TTC Group, a corporation that invests in real estate, energy and education projects, has 19 other solar power projects underway. Other corporations have also been rolling out ambitious plans. The Xuan Cau Group plans to invest in a 2,000MW solar power project in southern Tay Ninh Province, while the Xuan Thien Corporation plans a 3,000MW project in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak. September statistics from the Ministry of Industry and Trade show that 121 solar power projects been approved, which are expected to add 6,100 MW of output by 2020 and another 7,200 MW by 2030. Of these, 25 have signed power purchase agreements with Vietnam’s biggest power producer and sole distributor, Vietnam Electricity (EVN).