Graduation Date

Fall 2019

Document Type



Master of Science degree with a major in Environmental Systems, option Energy, Technology, and Policy

Committee Chair Name

Dr. Peter Alstone

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Dr. Arne Jacobson

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Dr. Charles Chamberlin

Third Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories

Environmental Systems


Vietnam has been developing an energy path involving increased renewable energy use. With over 7,000 existing water reservoirs, Vietnam has great potential to install floating solar photovoltaic (FPV) plants that will protect productive lands, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce water evaporation rates. This study investigates the technical, economic, and environmental feasibility of installing FPV in three reservoirs in Vietnam: Hoa Binh, Tri An, and Dau Tieng.

The capacities of the FPV plants assessed for three reservoirs range from 96 MW to 4,300 MW. The yearly solar generation from the three reservoirs ranges from 900 GWh to 13,700 GWh, and investment costs range from 690 to 10.3 billion USD, dependent on the reservoir size and FPV area coverage of 1%, 5%, 10%, and 15%. The payback period of the FPV systems at the three reservoirs could range from 6 to 14 years. The estimated Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) for Hoa Binh reservoir’s FPV system ranges from $50 to $95/MWh, while the other two reservoirs’ LCOEs range from $40 to $70/MWh.

These systems could supply 4% of Vietnam’s predicted 2025 energy demand and would avoid approximately 11 million tons of CO2e emissions per year. The shading provided by the FPV systems can save up to 136 million m3 of water annually. If the water savings are coupled with hydropower on Hoa Binh and Tri An Reservoir, the whole facility could generate an additional 12 GWh per year. Future study should include more in-depth research into factors such as the impact of substation upgrade costs, variable interest rates, and economies of scale on project economics; environmental impacts such as changes in hydropower operation on aquatic life; and human social and economic displacement due to FPV infrastructure land and water occupation.

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