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Binh Thuan to Start Building $38m Solar Power Plant This June

Binh Thuan Province will soon be home to a US$38 million solar power plant following ambitious investments in renewables.

According to Tuoi Tre, construction on a large solar facility will begin this year in Binh Thuan. The move aims to increase power output and diversify the energy sector in Vietnam. 

"The administration in Binh Thuan Province has approved the construction of Luy River 1 Solar Power Plant in Bac Binh District," Do Minh Kinh, director of the province's Ministry of Industry and Trade, told the news source. 

The complex will occupy a 102-acre plot (0.413 square kilometers) and is expected to produce 75 kWh in electricity during its first year of operation. It will utilize photovoltaic cells made of multicrystalline silicone, a material common in the solar energy industry, Tuoi Tre shares. 

Work on the project will commence in June and is set for completion by March 2019, when it will be connected to the national grid via a 110Kv transmission line. 

"The local government has encouraged investment into clean and renewable energy projects, but the greatest hindrance is that they require an enormous amount of capital," Kinh told the newspaper as he acknowledged future financial hurdles.

As of February, officials in Binh Thuan had approved five other solar energy projects worth US$300 million in total. These plants are expected to produce a combined output of 340 MW, as Business News reports in Vietnamese. 

Vietnam Electricity (EVN) estimates that the province is home to some of the highest solar power potential in the country due to its abundant sunlight and arid topography. The region is also considered a key cog in realizing the government's objective to increase solar energy capacity to 12,000 MW by 2030.

Last year, the World Bank and EVN launched a campaign to promote renewable energy by installing five solar measurement stations across Vietnam. The data is expected to attract developers in building solar power plants in the country.

Recently updated solar resource potential maps of the country can be accessed via the Global Solar Atlas.

[Photo via Flickr user nrel]

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