The Bangkok Post has recently revealed that the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) is targeting to grow its power generation capacity from floating solar farms at its nine hydropower plants to 10 gigawatts by 2037. This will require an investment of around THB 300 billion (USD 8.6 billion).
The government of Thailand has already greenlighted EGAT’s plan to develop 2,725 megawatts (MW) from floating solar farms at the nine dams. The Authority is now waiting for approval of its capacity expansion from a committee drafting the 2023 Thailand’s national power development plan.
EGAT has already completed its first floating solar farm, which has a capacity of 45 MW. The solar farm is located at the Sirindhorn Dam in the northeastern province of Ubon Ratchathani. EGAT is now constructing a second floating solar farm with a capacity of 24 MW at the Ubonrattana Dam in Khon Kaen, also in the Northeast. This project includes the installation of an energy storage system and weather forecasting equipment to ensure more stable power supply from the solar farm. EGAT is planning the construction floating solar farms at seven other dams is in the pipeline.
EGAT is optimistic about the possibility of accelerating the process of constructing other facilities because of the government’s campaign for carbon neutrality, which wants to strike a balance between carbon dioxide emission and absorption. In this context, floating solar farms can help the government cut carbon dioxide emissions, while also support the development of new tourist attractions at dams, according to EGAT. In effect, the Authority built a 415-metre walkway at the Sirindhorn dam to draw tourists.
As highlighted by the director-general of the Energy Policy and Planning Office, solar power, and especially rooftop solar panels, is becoming more popular in Thailand following a rapid increase in energy costs based on fossil fuels.
(Source: Bangkok Post)