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Rooftop solar’s growing popularity in HCM City

Update: September, 25/2019 - 07:44


A rooftop solar power system being installed at a secondary school in HCM City’s Bình Chánh District. VNA/VNS.Photo Mạnh Linh

HCM CITY— Lê Đình Vũ, owner of a home decor store in HCM City’s Thủ Đức District, spent nearly VNĐ50 million (US$2,155) to install solar panels on the roof of his newly built house.

He uses the power they produce for daily activities and draws less from the national grid.

More and more people in the city like Vũ are opting for rooftop solar panels to reduce their monthly energy costs.

Companies too are installing them at their factories.

At the Saigon Hi-Tech Park, Sacom - Chip Sang Co., Ltd is using energy from a solar power system it installed on its office building this year.

The panels are being installed in schools and people’s committee offices across the city.  

The HCM City Power Corporation (EVNHCMC) has in co-operation with suppliers of rooftop solar power facilities installed them at many schools. 

The People’s Committee of District 12 has installed a system on its 300sq.m office.

In Bình Chánh District, 166 rooftop solar installations with a combined capacity of 5,283 kWp, 50 per cent higher than the target set by EVNHCMC, had been made as of June.

Of them, 152 were by households with their daily output being 1,945kWh, and the remaining 14 were by businesses with the output being 3,338kWh.

The Bình Chánh Power Company, a subsidiary of the EVNHCMC, said to achieve this it launched campaigns to educate residents and customers about the benefits of rooftop solar.

Besides, EVN and suppliers of rooftop solar power facilities have preferential policies and offer promotions like a 10 per cent discount on prices, interest-free loans and instalment payments.

It takes customers five to six years to recoup their investment.

Phạm Việt Anh, deputy head of communication at EVNHCMC, told Việt Nam News via email: “3,741 households, offices and enterprises in the city had installed rooftop solar with a total capacity of 42.7 MWp as of August 22.”

Of them, 3,521 are connected with the national grid, according to Anh.   

EVNHCMC’s 19 subordinate units have installed grid-connected solar power systems with a total capacity of 1,127.9kWp.

“The city’s potential for solar energy is very high,” since it has high solar radiation of nearly 1,581 kWh per square metre per year, he said.

“The average number of sunshine hours is 100 to 300 and throughout the year unlike the northern region.”

The highest radiation level is 6.3 kWh per square metre per day in February and the lowest is 3.3 kWh in July.   

According to the World Bank’s “Report on Technical Assessment of Rooftop Solar Energy Potential in Việt Nam” in 2017 HCM City has solar power potential of 6,300MW.

EVNHCMC has called on Government to soon announce new prices for buying surplus solar power for the grid in place of the old ones that expired in June.

Authorities should make installation of rooftop solar compulsory for administrative and non-business agencies and beneficiaries of the State budget, and make it a criterion in evaluating and ranking enterprises, it said.

To encourage people to use rooftop solar, there should be subsidies and other support, it added.

The city grid has sufficient capacity to accept power supplied from rooftop solar systems in houses and companies.

Anh admitted the high cost of installing solar energy systems discouraged many people and the solution would be to offer more preferential loans or incentives. — VNS

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