Dohwa breaks ground on 49.5 MW in Vietnam

The Seoul-based company expects to finish building the project in Vietnam’s Le Thuy district, Quang Binh province, by late 2018. The total investment has been estimated at roughly $55 million, according to a statement on the Quang Binh provincial government’s website.

Dohwa has not revealed any other details about the installation, including the PV module supplier. The Quang Binh provincial authorities claim that the initial 49.5 MW array will eventually be expanded to 550 MW of solar. The installation will also be part of a broader, $55 million project that will include 100 MW of biomass capacity, as well as a vacation resort and water park, the provincial government said.

The Le Thuy installation is the latest in a flurry of PV projects that have been announced since the Vietnamese government unveiled a new 20-year, feed-in tariff (FIT) of VND 2,086 ($0.091)/kWh earlier this year to facilitate utility-scale solar development.

In April, for example, India’s Tata Solar revealed plans to build 100 MW of solar in Binh Phuoc province. In May, Power Generation Corp. 3 — a subsidiary of utility Electricity of Vietnam — unveiled plans to install 350 MW of solar in Ninh Thuận province. And in June, Vietnamese conglomerate TTC Group revealed that it had started seeking investors to finance up to 1 GW of planned PV capacity across 10 to 20 sites in the country.

In recent months, South Korean companies have been particularly aggressive in securing the rights to build solar projects in Vietnam. In March, for example, Seoul-based PV developer Solkiss said that it was moving ahead with plans to install 500 MW in Yen Bai province. And in June, Hanwha signed a deal with Vietnamese infrastructure developer BCG Bang Duong to build 100 MW of solar in Ninh Thuan province.

Vietnam is also emerging as an increasingly attractive destination for PV manufacturers. In July, for example, China’s GCL System Integration Technology (GCL-SI) and Vina Solar started manufacturing solar cells at an undisclosed location in the country. Annual production is set at 600 MW, including 330 MW of output set aside for passivated emitter rear contact (PERC) solar cells. U.S. thin-film PV supplier First Solar also said this summer that it may restart production of its Series 6 modules at a previously idle facility it owns in Vietnam.