IREX set to benefit from solar flare-up

15:42 | 24/04/2017
IREX Energy JSC, the country’s leading solar panel producer, is expected to ride the coming solar investment wave into the local solar energy market.
IREX’s PV solution provided for Green One UN House in Hanoi, with total capacity of 110 kilowatt peak

Vietnam’s potential for solar is great, with 1,600-2,700 sunlight hours per year and an average direct normal irradiance of four-to-five kilowatt-hours (kWh) per square metre, comparable to Thailand, the Philippines, Spain, and Italy.

However, the solar photovoltaic (PV) market in Vietnam is still in its early stages, with approximately six-to-seven megawatts (MW) of solar PV capacity currently installed. Its projected potential, if the most beneficial scenarios occur, might be two-to-five gigawatts (GW) for residential and commercial rooftops and 20GW for solar PV plants.

Vietnam’s renewable energy sector is lagging behind other countries in terms of technology, policy, and feed-in-tariffs (FiT). Thus, many international energy firms have remained hesitant to make investments in Vietnam, despite the country’s tremendous potential for renewable energy developments. The latest move of the government to raise the solar FiT to 9.35 US cents/kWh is expected to shake up the local power market. The new FiT is sufficient for investors to cover expenses and help to develop the solar energy industry in its early stages. As a result, more foreign energy firms will study the possibilities of doing business here as well as hunt for competent local partners.

IREX’s mainstay Solar System Operation Centre makes monitoring and management processes more convenient

However, only Vietnamese firms with serious investment in solar energy are capable of embracing these opportunities. Some local firms have even developed international standard technology and accumulated experience in both local and foreign markets. IREX is one of the exemplary Vietnamese renewable energy brands, which has contributed to the growing presence of Vietnam’s solar panels in the global market.

IREX is well known among international investors thanks to attending InterSolar, the world’s leading exhibition series for the solar industry. At the InterSolar 2016 solar industry exhibition in US’ San Francisco IREX – the only representative from Vietnam  – introduced their business model: “From cells to a turn-key solution.”

IREX panels also meet the following European and US standards issued by TUV Rheinland: IEC 61215:2005, IEC 61730:2004, and UL 1703.

In Vietnam, IREX is the solar energy leader in successful installations for large projects and for residential needs. The company’s strength is in the direct production of solar panels and components such as PV modules and cells, made to internationally-compliant standards.

IREX is now turning its focus to the local renewable energy sector, which forecasts to experience fast growth in the upcoming years, following the implementation of favourable incentives. To step up its game, IREX has invested in a new high-tech energy equipment complex in Phu My I Industrial Park, in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau’s Tan Thanh commune.

With a capacity of over 300MW per year, the new factory is equipped with automated and semi-automated machinery to ensure the high quality of its products, especially IREX’s mainstay Solar System Operation Centre (SSOC). The solution makes monitoring and management processes more convenient, allowing users to easily access experts via any device connected to the internet.

According to the firm’s director Dong Van Sen, IREX’s strategy is in line with that of its sister company Bach Khoa Investment and Development of Solar Energy Corporation (SolarBK). The company focuses on differentiating its products and achieving the highest efficiency – providing all-in-one solutions for both businesses and households.

Take the Green One UN House in Hanoi for example – the building incorporates IREX’s SSOC solutions to ensure tight security. Together with co-operation from SolarBK, IREX’s research-and-development (R&D) team has developed a remote monitoring system specifically for the building – an example of the tailored solutions that give IREX the edge over competing firms with imported technology.

Solar PV panels on the building’s roof generate 10 per cent of the building’s annual electricity requirements. As a result, the Green One UN House is becoming a role model for green buildings in Vietnam. It was also the first building in the country to be awarded the Gold Lotus Rating from the Vietnam Green Building Council.

Another prominent project marked the sucessful co-operation between SolarBK and IREX, “Light up the Spratly Islands”, is providing electricity for the historic and geographically important Truong Sa island group. This project brought SolarBK, as well as IREX the prestigious 2012 Energy Globe Award.

IREX’s Sen said that soon the energy market will become more competitive than ever before, due to the increasing entrance of foreign investors. These new entrants multiply the number of options for customers and stir up competition in the domestic market.

“To obtain the expansion’s objective, IREX will not stop at producing PV panels, but increase investment in different segments of the solar energy field. We have plans to expand existing manufacturing facilities and upgrade production lines in 2017. A new R&D centre will be developed to produce more clean energy applications in the country,” he said.

Founded in 2012, IREX has inherited 40 years of research and the creative values of SolarBK in manufacturing and selling renewable energy products. With this strong background, the company has the competence to be proactive in controlling materials, consulting, designing, implementing, managing, and transferring PV projects.

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By By Thanh Van

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