November 15, 2018 Read More →

Thailand plans 1GW of floating solar generation

PV Tech:

State-run utility Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) is planning to facilitate 1GW of hybrid floating solar-hydro projects across eight dams throughout the country. Thepparat Theppitak, deputy governor, power plant development and renewable energy, EGAT, announced the plans at the ASEAN Solar + Storage Congress & Expo in Manila, the Philippines, organised by Leader Associates.

The first two projects, located in the Northeast, are already in the development phase, including 45MW(AC) of contracted capacity at Sirindhorn Dam, with a commercial operation date expected in 2020. A second 24MW(AC) project at Ubol Ratana Dam is due to come into commercial operation in 2023.

Theppitak told PV Tech that building of the first project should get underway in January next year. The plans also complement the fact that Thailand already has a hydropower plan and the country wants to have a test bed for floating PV, he added. EGAT sees a potential water surface area of 16km2 across the eight dams earmarked for this first phase.

The Thai government is also working on tests for battery energy storage with two big projects standing at 22MWh and 16MWh capacity being used for frequency regulation and to enhance system flexibility. Moreover, Theppitak suggested that once battery costs come down far enough, EGAT will also consider having batteries at the hybrid floating solar-hydro projects.

Franck Constant, president of PV developer and investor, Constant Energy, said that the announcements showed perhaps the most prominent change in the Thailand renewable energy space over the last year – the fact that a state-run utility like EGAT is starting to buy into new energy solutions like storage and floating solar.

More: Thailand utility eyes 1GW of floating solar on hydro dams, pilots energy storage

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