Solar power ventures may lose FiT deadline race

March 20, 2019 | 21:00
A total of 17 proposed solar power projects have been put on ice as they risk missing the deadline of the feed-in tariff of 9.35 cents that ends in June 2019 due to inconsistencies in the ­evaluation of the projects.
solar power ventures may lose fit deadline race

These projects (see chart) have been reported by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) to have “completed ­appraisal” in Document No.10038/BCT-DL and Document No.10314/BCT-DL sent to the prime minister in ­December 2018.

All the details regarding their options for connection, ­capacity, and land use were ­addressed. In addition, these 17 projects are largely concentrated in the nation’s central ­region, where the transmission grid is considered to be ­overloaded. Notably, the common point among these projects is that they all have a capacity of 50 megawatts or less, meaning that these projects were under the jurisdiction by the MoIT before January 1. However, the ministry responded suddenly in February 2019 by saying “There is no basis for appraising additional planning or submitting additional ­planning to the prime minister for approval”. This raises ­questions of inconsistencies when evaluating the projects.

Local and foreign investors are racing to register solar power projects in Vietnam in order to reap the benefits of the feed-in tariff (FiT) of 9.35 US cents, which ends in June 30, 2019. There are no guarantees about pricing about connecting projects to the grid after this date. “How the FiTs are decided after June 30 this year will ­depend on technology prices at a specific period of time,” said Le Minh Duc, director of the Electricity Regulatory ­Authority of ­Vietnam’s Centre for Electricity Market ­Development and ­Workforce Training.

Furthermore, according to the Law on Planning taking ­effect in January 2019, the ­authority to consider and ­supplement the projects ­belongs to the prime minister and the evaluation is the ­responsibility of the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

By Huong Thu

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