800 MW of solar licenses in Thailand for 2016

Director-General of the Energy Policy and Planning Office Twarath Sutabutr has stated that his office expects to grant a total of 800 MW of licenses Thailand-wide. Applicants have an individual quota of 5 MW. The focus is said to be on state agencies, enterprises, universities and agricultural cooperations as local Thai newspaper "Bangkok Post" reports.

The investor requirement for 800 MW is estimated at around 500 billion THB ($14 billion) with 50 billion THB ($1.4 billion) set aside for solar modules only, not including other components, equipment and facilities. Sutabutr stated this at a public participation session for the second round of solar power licenses. Thailand has been proving profitability in the solar business with one of SPCG‘s largest PV plants generating a substantial profit.

The power generated can be sold to the Electrical Generating Authority of Thailand. The feed-in tariff rate will be 5.66 THB/kWh ($0.16/kWh) and span 25 years. Commercial operations are slated to begin from 2017-2018. Public participation will finish this month before the National Energy Policy Council sits on the issue in August. Sutabutr has stated that an additional capacity of 1,200 MW will come online by year-end bringing the combined capacity to 2,700 MW.

Sutabutr warned though that state agencies need to ascertain if they can sell power for commercial purposes before embarking on license acqusition. "If any agency finds itself being blocked from selling power commercially, it must be their job to amend the law or find their own solutions before applying," he added.