44 MW Thai PV park grid connected

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Solartron Public Co. Ltd undertook engineering, procurement and construction on the project, owned by Bangchak Public Petroleum Co. Ltd (BCP). Meanwhile, Suntech supplied the necessary photovoltaic modules.

An exhibition center has also been built at the site, in order to educate the community about solar power. "The Sunny Bangchak project represents an important step in BCP’s aim to promote a green environment and sustainable business in Thailand. Our visitor center at the site will be a landmark for renewable education in Thailand," commented Bundit Sapianchai, senior executive vice president of BCP.

PV landscape

Currently the largest installation in Thailand is Sharp Corporation’s 73 MWp thin film plant, located in Lopburi. A number of other companies have also completed PV projects in Thailand, albeit it on a smaller scale.

Overall, Thailand has the most established PV industry in SE Asia, due to its solar policies, and governmental and financial support. Although the country doesn’t have a feed-in tariff, the government does offer support to photovoltaic projects in the form of an "adder" premium of 6.5 THB/kWh (US$0.20), which is paid on top of the retail price for electricity. Thidarat Sawai, from the Thai Ministry of Energy tells pv magazine it applies to "any installation up to 90 MW."

In its latest Global Market Outlook for Photovoltaics until 2016, released in May, EPIA said that as of this March, 950 MW worth of power purchase agreements had been approved, of which just 150 MW had been installed. According to the Ministry of Energy, two GW of projects, the majority of which are said to be large-scale, are in the pipeline.

IHS further forecasts that new installations will reach 200 MW in 2012, and there is the potential for them to hit one GW in 2016.