First rooftop solar power project inaugurated at Tan Son Nhat airport

Delegates cut the ribbon inaugurating the rooftop solar power system at Tan Son Nhat airport’s cargo terminal.

The first rooftop solar power system at the Ho Chi Minh City-based Tan Son Nhat International Airport was inaugurated on January 15, with an installed capacity of 1.1 MWp.

Covering a total area of over 7,500 m2, the project is under the management of the Saigon Cargo Service Corporation (SCSC) and was invested in and installed by Copper Mountain Energy JSC (CME).

This is the first renewable energy project to be installed in the airport network in Vietnam as well as being the largest in downtown Ho Chi Minh City.

In its first phase, the project is estimated to provide about 1.5 million kwh of electricity annually, meeting 40% of SCSC's electricity demand, while reducing its energy costs by about 15% and cutting emissions by about 1.5 tonnes of CO2. In phase 2, the project will be expanded in order to achieve 100% clean energy output.

According to an SCSC representative, the unit's electricity demand is about 3.7 million kwh each year. Putting the rooftop energy source into operation is expected to save the SCSC about VND1.5 billion annually, along with making savings on a lot of other operating costs.

Nguyen Quoc Khanh, General Director of the SCSC, said: “We aim to develop the SCSC into a model air cargo terminal in Vietnam and the region, utilising renewable energy and exploiting existing rooftop areas to save energy and protect the environment.”

The solar panels in the system have a total capacity of 1.1 MWp.

The project meets the rigorous quality standards needed for accreditation by AFRY - a reputable Swedish-Finnish engineering, consulting and design company within the fields of energy, industry, infrastructure and information technology.

According to a representative from AFRY, for rooftop solar power projects like that at Tan Son Nhat Airport, construction must not only ensure all technical requirements and quality control specifications are upheld, but also ensure aviation security and safety without any negative effect on air transport. The project is one of the few highly lauded by the AFRY as meeting regional and international requirements.

Notably, this is the first project in Vietnam that strictly complies with the design, approval, and construction process, successfully putting into use a fire protection system approved by the Fire and Rescue Police Department of the Ho Chi Minh City Police.

Bui Trung Kien, Deputy General Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Power Corporation (EVNHCMC), said that up until now, only factories roofs in Ho Chi Minh City have anywhere near 70 MW of solar power in operation, while the potential for its use is estimated up to be nearly 1,500 MW, so that room for solar power development in Ho Chi Minh City is quite large. According to EVNHCMC, there were 8,762 grid-connected rooftop solar power projects in the city last year.

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