Thai utility EGAT plans 69 MW of floating PV projects

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The state-owned Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) has announced a plan to deploy large-scale floating PV at several dams it operates in the country.

EGAT said in a press reléase it is considering building floating arrays at nine dams with the potential to host around 2.72 GW of solar capacity.

A 45 MW floating project is being planned for the Sirindhorn Dam, on the Lam Dom Noi river in the Sirindhorn district of Ubon Ratchathani. The dam hosts the 12 MW Sirindhorn Hydropower Plant.

A second 24 MW project is planned for the Ubolratana Dam in Khok Sung in the Ubolratana district of Khon Kaen province. The dam is home to the first hydroelectric power project developed in Thailand’s northeastern area of Isan.

EGAT said the electricity provided by the solar plants will help improve water management when the water level is low at the dams.

First project in the works

The Bangkok Post newspaper has reported the first of the two projects has already been approved by Thailand’s National Energy Policy Council, and will be built for $1 million/MW. The newspaper says the plant is scheduled to come online next year and adds, EGAT is working with cement and building material company Siam Cement Group to conduct R&D of the materials needed to build floating solar panels.

EGAT operates 45 power plants with a combined capacity of 15.54 GW, of which three are thermal, six combined cycle, 24 hydropower, eight renewable energy and four diesel. The company has a 37% share of Thailand’s power market.

The International Renewable Energy Agency recently recommended Thailand expand the role of PV in its energy mix from 6 GW to almost 17 GW, because of the nation’s abundant solar resource potential and the technology’s rapidly falling costs.