ACO to energise landmark solar project

US-based ACO Investment Group plans to plug into the local renewable power sector with Vietnam’s first ever solar power project.

The firm has expressed an interest in building a 50 megawatt solar power farm in central Binh Thuan province, according to Binh Thuan People’s Committee.

An ACO Investment Group in Vietnam representative last week confirmed this information and said the firm was working with the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) to add this project to the national electricity master plan.

“We are serious about this project and we are trying to complete all procedures to push it ahead as soon as possible. A feasibility study is being undertaken,” the source said, declining to be named. ACO Investment Group focuses on transportation and logistics, information technology, telecom, e-commerce media, energy, financial services and consumer goods.

In Vietnam, it is also looking at aviation investment opportunities through Airis International Holdings, in which it is a shareholder. Airis International Holdings is making a feasibility study to build an airport in Khanh Hoa province, one of the most attractive tourism destinations in Vietnam.

“Vietnam has untapped potential for renewable energy, especially solar power. So, we [ACO Investment Group] want to be the first investor to develop a solar power project here,” said the source.

Institute of Energy statistics show that the country has potential for renewable energy sources like solar and wind power. For instance, Vietnam has solar resources with solar radiation from 3–4.5 kilowatt hours, per square metre, per day (kwh/m2/day) in winter to around 4.5–6.5 kWh/m2/day in summer. The number of hours of sunshine ranges between 1,800 and 2,700 per year.

Binh Thuan and its neighbouring Ninh Thuan province are said to have the biggest potential for solar energy. A Binh Thuan Department of Planning and Investment senior officer said many domestic and foreign investors had expressed interest in investing into solar power in this province.

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