Enfinity to build USD$82 million solar farm in Thailand

The company will spend USD$82 million to develop a solar farm with a capacity of about 40 megawatts (MW), said Martin Parodi, head of investment of Enfinity Asia Pacific. It will set up a company in Thailand in two months to oversee the project at a location, which is still to be finalized. Construction is expected to start this year.

The company will also invest in projects in South Korea and Taiwan this year. It has allocated USD$300 million for three Asian solar farms, Mr Parodi continued. "We are investing in Thailand as the first country in Asia. So far, we have focused on doing business in Europe and the Americas." He continued: "We have seen huge opportunity for renewable energies in Thailand where the government aims for renewable sources to provide 20 percent of energy consumption by 2020."

A 15-year renewable energy development plan is projected to more than triple the share of renewable fuels in overall energy demand from about six percent at present. The company is due to begin its investments in Malaysia and the Philippines next year.

As Enfinity plans to further expand its presence in Asia, Mr Parodi said that a recent resolution from the National Energy Policy Council to cut adder rates for solar projects from 8 baht to 6.5 per unit over the 10-year period might hurt Thailand’s attractiveness for renewable-energy investments.

Annex Power Ltd, a renewable energy contractor covering Indochina, also said regional competition for investment in renewable energy has intensified with neighboring countries offering incentive packages. Malaysia recently introduced an adder scheme while the Philippines plans to follow suit in the next four to eight weeks, he said.

Annex Power’s three-megawatt Yanhee Solar Power project was commissioned this week as the first PV solar project to open in Southeast Asia. "Renewable energies in Thailand are currently at the most advanced stage among Asean countries and it is one of the leaders in Asia, given government support and adder structure that makes projects more feasible," said Daniel Gaefke, a director at Annex Power.

"We are waiting the final outcome from Malaysia and the Philippines. Certainly, the competition will be increased." Annex Power has participated in seven renewable projects in Thailand. as well as others in Singapore and Germany. The Bangkok-based contractor aims to expand its business to Malaysia and Vietnam.