Required licenses for rooftop solar power projects

Writers: Vi Tran, Truc Nguyen

With the aim to legally operate in Vietnam, rooftop solar power projects must be done with the requirements of Vietnam’s prevailing regulations on required licenses as well as authorities’ guidelines. Those required licenses for implementing this kind of renewable energy project also have some conditions.

Regarding the above-mentioned issue, BLawyers Vietnam would like to share with you the necessary licenses by this short article.

Required licenses for rooftop solar power projects

I. General requirements for rooftop solar power projects

Rooftop solar power system (“RSPS”) refers solar power system in which solar panels are installable on the roof of the construction. Such RSPS must be less than 1 MW in power, directly or indirectly connected to up-to-35kV power grid of the power purchaser.

RSPS must be on the rooftop of construction with independent utilities, including construction following the Law on Construction and rooftop of house or house-structure construction.

Furthermore, such solar panels must have an efficiency of more than 16% and the module’s efficiency must be higher than 15%.

Of note, only RSPS satisfies all the aforementioned conditions shall be in the scope of the following licenses.

II. Required licenses for rooftop solar power projects

Commonly, the investors must pay attention to the list of required licenses for the RSPS before launching the project. Pursuant to the laws, the installation and operation of a RSPS in Vietnam require at least 03 main licenses, including:

(i) Enterprise Registration Certificate (“ERC”);

(ii) Construction Permit; and

(iii) Fire Prevention and Fighting System Certificate (“FPFSC”).

1. Enterprise Registration Certificate

For implementing the RSPS, the business needs to be in the form of an enterprise. The to-be-established enterprise must have the business line of doing RSPS. The owner will register this content to the local Department of Planning and Investment. If the investors are foreigners or their cases being conditional cases, they are required to obtain the Investment Registration Certificate (“IRC”) before registering enterprise establishment. The IRC should also record enterprise’s object is implementation of RSPS project.

If existing an enterprise, investors need to check its current business lines to ensure that the enterprise could do RSPS. Otherwise, supplementing the suitable business line allowing the RSPS activity is compulsory for duly operation of the enterprise.

2. Construction Permit

Following the above-mentioned, RSPS is considered as a construction according to the prevailing Law on Construction. Consequently, a RSPS project needs to obtain a Construction Permit before proceeding the instalment.

There are 2 types of construction permit that investors need to pay attention to: (i) New construction permit; and (ii) Repair and renovation permit. Depending on the status of construction the RSPS to be installed, the project owner must obtain the corresponding permit.

After having enough compulsory permits, the project owner must send a notice prior to at least 03 working days in advance on the starting date of the construction. Moreover, the authorities of Construction shall be the competent agency for such permits.

3. Fire Prevention and Fighting System Certificate

Notably, the FPFSC is a required license to operate a RSPS project according to the law. Depending on specified cases, especially based on the scale of projects, the investors ought to get an approval certificate on design appraisal first. Additionally, each project shall need to follow the specific regulations based on the real status and type of project. The Police Department of Fire Prevention and Fighting shall issue the FPFSC.

In conclusion, even in the period of its development, a RSPS must have its own licenses by law. Although the general regulations do not require many licenses for the installation and operation off RSPS, the investor must check for specific cases to ensure that the project is complied with the laws.

If you have any questions about the above, please contact BLawyers Vietnam’s lawyers at consult@blawyersvn.com. We are always ready to support.

Maybe you are interested in reading:

Some guidelines on rooftop solar power from Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade

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