Rooftop solar’s growing popularity in HCM City

HCM CITY— Lê Đình Vũ, owner of a home decor store in HCM City’s Thủ Đức District, spent nearly VNĐ 五0 million (US$ 二, 一 五 五) 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 co妹妹ittee 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 Co妹妹ittee of District  一 二 has installed a system on its  三00sq.m office.

In Bình Chánh District,  一 六 六 rooftop solar installations with a combined capacity of  五, 二 八 三 kWp,  五0 per cent higher than the target set by EVNHCMC, had been made as of June.

Of them,  一 五 二 were by households with their daily output being  一, 九 四 五kWh, and the remaining  一 四 were by businesses with the output being  三, 三 三 八kWh.

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.

Rooftop solar’s growing popularity in HCM City

Besides, EVN and suppliers of rooftop solar power facilities have preferential policies and offer promotions like a  一0 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 co妹妹unication at EVNHCMC, told Việt Nam News via email: “ 三, 七 四 一 households, offices and enterprises in the city had installed rooftop solar with a total capacity of  四 二. 七 MWp as of August  二 二.”

Of them,  三, 五 二 一 are connected with the national grid, according to Anh.  

EVNHCMC’s  一 九 subordinate units have installed grid-connected solar power systems with a total capacity of  一, 一 二 七. 九kWp.

“The city’s potential for solar energy is very high,” since it has high solar radiation of nearly  一, 五 八 一 kWh per square metre per year, he said.

“The average number of sunshine hours is  一00 to  三00 and throughout the year unlike the northern region.”

The highest radiation level is  六. 三 kWh per square metre per day in February and the lowest is  三. 三 kWh in July.  

According to the World Bank’s “Report on Technical Assessment of Rooftop Solar Energy Potential in Việt Nam” in  二0 一 七 HCM City has solar power potential of  六, 三00MW.

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