Investors have been working frantically to get their projects finished on time, but even if they can put plants into operation before October 31, they will still face other problems.
According to the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), as of early August, 106 wind power plants with total capacity of 5,655MW had registered to connect to the national grid and asked for COD (commercial operation date) recognition.
In August, several wind power plants got COD recognition, including the second phase of Hoa Binh 1 (15.2MW), Ninh Thuan No 5 (21MW), 7A (12.6MW). These are all small-capacity projects with total capacity of approximately 50MW.
By the end of August, only 24 wind power plants with total capacity of 963MW had become commercially operational, a small figure compared with the registered 106 plants and total capacity of 5,600MW.
Many projects will not be able to open in just two months. It now takes more time to get COD check and acceptance because of requirements in procedures. Project developers have to submit a written approval by the Ministry of Investment and Trade (MOIT) or local industry and trade departments on the results of inspections and acceptance of the works to be put into use.
However, reaching the finish line before October 31 to be able to enjoy the Feed in Tariff is the only worry of renewable energy developers. Even if they can, they will have to face a lot of other obstacles.
In mid-2018, realizing that the approved renewable energy projects had very large capacity, EVN warned of the possible overloading to MOIT dated May 11, 2018.
On May 21, 2018, MOIT asked EVN to calculate the electricity transmission capacity and discuss conditional connection agreements with renewable energy projects that may cause overloading to the transmission line.
Under the agreements, power plant developers will have to cut the capacity or even stop operation if they are asked by the electricity system regulatory unit.
In case of oversupply, investors will have to reduce or stop generating electricity without any complaints, appeals or other opinions if a part or the whole capacity of projects is not mobilized.
To date, capacity overload remains a concern. While the number of renewable energy projects planned to join the national grid is high, EVN is having problems regarding supplementation of electricity transmission projects.
In a document to MOIT dated September 6, EVN pointed out that it has many times asked to develop more electricity transmission projects, but MOIT has not accepted to add projects to the seventh national power development plan.
Many offshore wind power investors are holding their breath waiting for the next move of the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Government.
Several wind power projects currently under development in the Mekong River Delta area are rushing to complete and start operating on a commercial basis before the November deadline,