Canada-based CMX Renewable Energy Inc. is seeking a license to construct a 150-megawatt (MW) solar power plant in the central province of Ninh Thuan with an investment of $150 million, the Dau Tu (Investment) newspaper reported.
At a recent meeting with the local government, the Canadian energy firm pledged to provide 1% of the plant’s output to locals for free.
The government is drafting policies to encourage private investment in the sector as it seeks to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels.
According to one of the plans being considered by the government, state monopoly Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) will be obliged to buy all the output from solar power plants in 10-20 years, the Thanh Nien (Youth) newspaper cited the government’s website as saying.
The plants are also expected to get special treatment with respect to taxes and land, it said.
Under a national plan on developing electricity, Vietnam aims to increase the share of renewable energies from 3.5% in 2010 to 4.5% in 2020 and 6% in 2030.
With around 2,000-2,500 hours of sunlight annually, Vietnam's solar energy potential is considered to be the equivalent of 43.9 million tons of oil a year.
The country's first solar power facility is expected to come into operation next year. Vietnamese investor Thien Tan Investment and Construction JSC last year started the construction of a 19.2 MW plant in the central province of Quang Ngai by with an investment of some $36 million.
US solar power company First Solar Inc. recently signed a pact with the Thien Tan Co. for the supply of thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules.
SolarPark Korea Co Ltd last year announced a plan to build a 300-MW solar power facility in the central province of Ha Tinh, at a cost of $650 million.
South Korean Hanwha Group has proposed to install between 100 MW and 200 MW of PV power capacity in Thua Thien-Hue while UK-based investment firms GT & Associates and Marshall & Street Ltd have unveiled plans for 150 MW of solar projects in Quang Nam.