Thailand's Sena eyes 100 MW domestic solar capacity

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Sena Development Plc, a property development company based in Thailand, is aiming to increase its solar PV capacity to 100 MW over the next three years as it looks to tap into the country’s growing thirst for clean energy.

In targeting this goal, Sena has created Sena Solar Energy – a PV-specialist subsidiary with a registered capital of $14 million. The subsidiary’s first project will be to add 50 MW of solar PV capacity in Thailand’s rooftop sector by January next year, the company said.

Sena is also bidding for a 30 MW ground-mount solar farm from the Thai government – a decision on which is expected in December. Thailand has targeted a ramp up in solar PV capacity over the next few decades. At the end of 2014 the country had 1.57 GW of cumulative PV installed, and hopes to have 6 GW capacity by 2036.

The country is on course to add a further 1 GW of capacity this year.

This target appears modest but attainable, and will rely on the project aims of companies like Sena being realized. The company’s 100 MW target will be aided by its partnership with local solar developer Eight Solar –confirmed this week by Sena executive director Kessara Tanyalakpark – and its ongoing collaboration with First Solar, with whom it signed a partnership deal for the development of a 46.5 MW solar park in the country, completion of which is expected before the end of the year.

According to Reuters, Sena has felt compelled to diversify its business activity into renewable energy in response to the current economic slowdown in Thailand, allied to rising household debt, which has served to suppress domestic demand for new property.

The company’s CFO Sutham Olarnkijanon told Reuters that Sena will begin booking revenue from solar power in early 2016, and he expects this segment of the business to contribute around 10% of profits next year, rising to one-quarter over the next few years.