On December 23rd, 2021, at the Yamaha factory, Hanoi, the Discussion of the development of the rooftop solar (RTS) project for Noi Bai Industrial Zone (NBIZ) was successfully held. Attending the meeting were Mr. John Au – General Director of Noi Bai Industrial Park, Mr. Mark Shorrock – CEO of Shire Oak International (SOI), Mr. Marcus Winsley – Chargé d’Affaires, British Embassy in Vietnam, and other representatives from 26 Japanese firms in the Industrial Zone.

Under the cooperation, SOI will be the investor and developer of the solar power project with an estimated capacity of 41,250.91 kWp on the roofs of factories under the management of Noi Bai Industrial Park.

As a developer of renewable energy projects from the UK, SOI brings years of experience from international projects to Vietnam.  SOI’s previous notable projects in the UK include West Raynham Solar Farm, Westmill Solar Farm, and North Rhins Wind Farm.

In Vietnam, the company has completed 23 RTS projects in 2020 with a total capacity of up to 64 MW. It is building more than 52 other projects with a capacity of 100 MW, expected to be completed in Q1 2021. To ensure the construction progress and quality, SOI takes full responsibility for the investment, design, materials, installation, operation, and maintenance of the system.

Noi Bai Industrial Park is the gathering point for factories of 43 enterprises, of which the majority are from Japan. They provide a vast roof surface area, which is favorable for the implementation of rooftop solar technology.

In addition to reducing electricity costs, using clean energy also helps businesses improve their brand image as they contribute to environmental protection and sustainable development. It is estimated that, within 20 years, the 41 MWp system in Noi Bai Industrial Park will help reduce 743,390 tons of CO2 emissions, equivalent to the planting of 2,484,542 trees and reducing 6,758,000,000 kilometers of scooter driving distance.

Speaking at the event, British Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Marcus Winsley said: “Commercial solar panels can make a real difference to your business by generating free, green electricity during daytime hours that can be used on site, lowering your business demand for energy from the grid and potentially saving  on energy bills. Solar costs in Vietnam have come down by 75% over the last five years as a result of better and more affordable tech plus better manufacturing in Vietnam. The rate of innovation continues to reduce renewables cost by around 10% per year. In the long term, it’s much cheaper with no fuel costs and improving technology.”

He also added that by using clean energy, companies can improve their brand image and attract international finance through complying with ESG (environment, social and governance) standards. Indeed, in order to penetrate the UK and US market, businesses must audit their factories, and one of the key criteria is renewable energy sourcing. Notably, they also have more chances of getting an LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, as usage of renewable energy accounts for up to 20% of the required score.

Other than that, the solar power project in Noi Bai Industrial Park shows the commitment of UK businesses to support Vietnam to get closer to the goals set out in the Paris Agreement against global climate change.

In recent years, the consequences of climate change have been more and more apparent in many parts of the world. The business community in Vietnam, with its dynamism and creativity, will have an important voice in Vietnam’s capacity for disaster response and climate change adaptation. Mr. Mark Shorrock emphasized: “Vietnam is a beautiful country with majestic nature and many wild species. Europe was like that until industrial development drove most of them to extinction. We hope Vietnam will not make the same mistake. ”

In addition, for Mr. Mark Shorrock, cooperation with Japanese partners is not unfamiliar to him. Shift Energy Japan, a developer who has successfully deployed 439 solar power systems based in Fukuoka, owns 25% of Shire Oak International’s shares.

The RTS projects in Noi Bai Industrial Park will not only help businesses perform better but also help Vietnam stride towards its sustainable development goals while encouraging other organizations to join the movement. Mr. John Au shared that NBIZ had been working on a plan to promote a greener working environment and to take advantage of renewable energy, and the cooperation with Shire Oak International will help him achieve just that.

“In order to have an economy of scale to maximize benefits on all aspects for all tenants, we must strive to achieve 99% installation target in NBIZ”, he stated.

Wrapping up the meeting, Mr. Winsley thanked all the Japanese companies attending the event: “We are pleased to see the partnership between UK companies and Japanese companies in Vietnam. The UK government and the Japanese government share many views on free trades and both countries have shared interest in politics, security, trade and economy in this region.”

The two Embassies speak regularly about how the UK and Japan can join up to make positive impacts in Vietnam, and this partnership is an excellent example.