The power plant, once operational, will produce a maximum output of approximately 450 million kWh each year.
Construction of the 204-MW plant with estimated cost of VND5 trillion ($223 million) began Saturday in the central Ninh Thuan province.
The power plant, the nation’s largest solar power plant to date, will have over 705,000 solar panels, and once operational slated for next June, produce a maximum output of approximately 450 million kWh each year, said Nguyen Tam Thinh, Chairman of Vietnamese construction group Trung Nam, the project’s investor.
The plant is also billed as the nation’s first “integrated sustainable energy project,” utilizing both solar panels as well as turbines to harness wind energy.
“Utilizing sustainable energy on a large scale would help protect the environment by significantly reducing emissions and other by-products from burning fossil fuels,” Thinh said.
Ninh Thuan province plans to develop a capacity of 2,000 MW from solar energy by 2020. Currently, there are 11 operational solar energy projects with a total capacity of 800 MW.
The central province, which enjoys 2,800 hours of sunlight exposure each year, and has 8,000 hectares of land unaffected by typhoons because they are protected by surrounding mountain ranges, is considered to be an area with great potential to develop renewable energy.
Solar power currently accounts for just 0.01 percent of the country’s total power output, but the government plans to increase the ratio to 3.3 percent by 2030 and 20 percent by 2050.
Vietnam aims to produce 10.7 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030, mainly through solar and wind power projects.