EVN to suspend rooftop solar power purchases

By Phuong Anh   December 29, 2020 | 12:45 am PT
EVN to suspend rooftop solar power purchases
Workers install solar power panels on a rooftop in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo courtesy of Vietnam Electricity.
State utility Vietnam Electricity (EVN) will stop purchasing rooftop power from December 31, when the government’s preferential feed-in tariffs scheme expires.

The national utility said in a recent announcement that the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) have not issued new policies and guidelines to replace the old scheme, which had set fixed feed-in tariffs (FIT) for solar power purchase agreements.

The mechanism, scale and prices for each type of rooftop solar power are still being studied by the ministry's Department of Electricity and Renewable Energy, it said.

The report on this is expected to be submitted to MoIT in the first quarter of 2021, which will then be submitted to the Prime Minister for consideration for devising preferential policies for rooftop solar power in the upcoming period.

Until this is done, there is no legal framework to determine rooftop power FITs, the utility said.

While EVN awaits instructions from competent authorities, its companies will stop receiving and accepting power grid connection requests from rooftop power suppliers. They will also refrain from entering into new power purchase agreements (PPA) after December 31 until new legal guidance is available.

EVN emphasized that new electricity supplied to the grid will not be recorded and will not be bought without a new decision from the PM.

The old power scheme had fixed FITs at a preferential 8.38 cents per kWh for 20 years for PPAs with power projects that began commercial operation before December 31, 2020.

This FIT is the highest compared to other forms of solar power, such as terrestrial or floating power plants, and one of the reasons for the proliferation of investment in rooftop power.

According to EVN, as of December 25, there were 83,000 rooftop solar power projects connected to the national grid with a total installed capacity of nearly 4,700 MW. The cumulative power generation output from rooftop solar PV has reached more than 1.13 billion kWh so far.

Experts have said that Vietnam, especially the southern region, has great potential for solar power development thanks to the large number of sunshine hours.

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