Natcore Technology has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a European developer of international renewable energy projects and a Vietnamese consortium under which the organizations would form a separate company to develop a 200MW solar energy project in Vietnam.
The projected cost of the project is approximately US$300 million, which includes all the costs of engineering/procurement/construction (EPC), land acquisitions, development fees and other expenses.
The 200MW project would be completed in several phases, the first of which will be about 10MW. Each phase will be located at a site mutually agreed upon in selected provinces of Vietnam. By completing the project in tranches, the parties will be able to generate revenue before the entire project is completed. The project would include a laboratory facility and, potentially, a solar panel manufacturing facility.
Under the terms of the agreement, Natcore would:
- Design, develop, implement and bring the solar plants to the turnkey phase;
- Serve as supplier of the project;
- Select suppliers, PV plants and engineering, procurement, construction (EPC) company;
- Serve as project manager.
- Natcore will be compensated on a "cost-plus" basis and with licensing fees for its technology as it is provided.
This project arose from a consulting service established by Natcore to provide unbiased business and technical advice to potential new solar cell and solar panel manufacturers and to established solar manufacturers wishing to upgrade their facilities.
As part of their service, Natcore will recommend a "best of breed" selection of manufacturing equipment to its clients, and will offer limited exclusivity to incorporate new technology developed by Natcore into the client facilities when such technology becomes available for commercial production.
Since Natcore is not itself a manufacturer, it is able to buy components or employ vendors without bias. Thus, Natcore will have the freedom to provide optimum products with appropriate warranties and efficiencies.
This is the second project to be assigned to Natcore as a result of its Best-of-Breed program. On March 22, the company announced that it would oversee development of a 10 MW PV array in Belize.
"Our 'Best of Breed' initiative is a direct result of our being approached repeatedly by groups requesting our solar cells for their power projects, even though our technology has not yet reached the market," says Natcore President and CEO Chuck Provini. "It has taken on a life of its own. So we anticipate that it will continue to grow and fund development of our paradigm-shifting laser-processed solar cell technology."
"Since we announced the Belize project, we've also been approached by companies who want us to use their components, such as solar cells, solar panels, inverters, frames, tracking systems, etc." added Provini. "We think this Vietnam announcement will generate more calls of that nature. We'll gladly take those calls, since we promise our clients that we'll scour the marketplace to find the optimum elements for their solar facilities."