Thai energy company to undertake a 20.8MW solar project in Japan

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Although not a big player on the solar PV scene, GPSC is the Power Flagship of Thailand’s state-owned energy company PTT Group, and it is looking for ways to expand its renewable energy portfolio. One area that it has highlighted is the solar PV market, in particular solar power opportunities in Japan.

It announced on Monday, as reported by Reuters, that it will begin to build its Japanese PV portfolio with a 20.8MW plant in the northern Japanese city of Ichinoseki, in the Iwate Prefecture. The company has been allotted a substantial budget of 3.15bn Thai baht ($89 million) to develop the plant, which it expects to be operational by the end of 2017.

GPSC has reportedly signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with Japan’s Tohoku Electric Power, who will pay 40 yen ($0.36) per unit. Interestingly, GPSC says that it will be using a new technology from solar industry giant Conergy, which should help to make sure that the project is backed up by substantial industry expertise.

The project is a pat on the back for Thai solar PV developers, which are likely to be busy for the foreseeable future, as Thailand’s solar PV market grows at a faster rate than any other Southeast Asian countries. It shows that some of the domestic companies have higher ambitions than Thailand’s domestic market, and could be the beginning of a trend as Thailand’s PV developers become more experienced.