Thailand: Suntech to supply solar panels to 44 MW solar project

Owned by Bangchak Petroleum Public Co., Ltd., and integrated by Solartron Public Co., Ltd., the “landmark” solar power plant will reportedly be one of the largest in Thailand and Southeast Asia. It will be located in Bang Pa-In, Ayutthaya, forty kilometers outside Bangkok.

Suntech says the 9.43 MW contract comes after it was chosen to provide 34.5 MW of solar panels and technical support for the project’s first phase, announced in August.

"This is another strong step forward with Bangchak and Solartron, as we work together to drive the emerging solar industry in Thailand and Southeast Asia," said Andrew Beebe, Suntech’s chief commercial officer. "With steady economic growth, burgeoning electricity demands, and plenty of excellent sunlight, countries throughout the region stand to benefit both economically and environmentally by harnessing nature’s most abundant energy resource."

With groundwork construction underway, the solar power plant remains on schedule to be grid-connected by late next year, according to Suntech.

The electricity generated from the plant will be purchased and distributed by the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) and the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) under long-term power purchase agreements. Altogether, it has been said the project will create more than 200 local jobs in Thailand for the facility’s development, installation and maintenance.

On October 12, Bangchak signed a 15-year loan agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for up to B4.2 billion (USD$140 million), part of ADB’s Asia Solar Energy Initiative to support projects that will help Asia realize its solar power potential.

Bangchak estimates that the 44 MW capacity plant could annually reduce the need to import about 40,000 tons of coal and mitigate 32,000 tons of CO2 emissions. Upon completion, the facility will reportedly be open to the community, as an on-site visitor center, featuring a Suntech building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) installation.