According to researchers, Krong Pa has an annual average temperature of more than 25 degrees Celsius, with about six hours of sunshine a day, or about 2,500 hours each year.
To tap this advantage, the province has allowed the survey of 17 projects, two of which have been approved by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Construction on Krong Pa solar power plant, invested by Gia Lai Power JSC, is underway at a total cost of more than VND1.4 trillion (US$60.8 million), with a planned capacity of 49MW on 70ha.
Chairman of the district People’s Committee To Van Chanh said the locality is supportive of clean and renewable energy projects, with solar power seen as more effective than hydropower in terms of land use and environmental impact.
Ba Ha river hydropower plant with a capacity of 220MW covers 1,800ha. Meanwhile, each MW of solar power requires about 1.3ha, even on land unsuitable for farming.
Ngo Nam Thai, deputy head of the management board for the Krong Pa solar power project, said the plant will sit on a stone hill. Once operational in November 2018, it will add more than 100 million kWh of electricity per year to the national grid.
A similar project is conducting site clearance in the district and when completed will raise total capacity of solar power to roughly 100 MW.
The locality proposed launching the remaining projects to reduce poverty.
As the poorest locality in Gia Lai, Krong Pa is home to eight specially disadvantaged communes out of a total of 14.