Floating solar farms at four industrial estates studied by Thailand

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Solar Float: This 1-megawatt installation in a Thai reservoir owned by SCG Chemicals

Floating solar farms at four industrial estates studied by Thailand

Industry and energy officials are planning to build four floating solar farms, worth 1.8-2.4 billion baht, in industrial estates in a move Industry Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit says is in line with the energy policy of US president-elect Joe Biden.

The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding with the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) on a feasibility study for the project, with a total capacity of 60 megawatts.

They expect to spend over 1 billion baht building the first facility with a capacity of 20MW in Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate in Rayong, supplying electricity to factories.

Mr Suriya said floating solar farms are part of the government’s Smart Energy scheme, which is in line with the global clean energy trend.

The US under the Biden administration is expected to adopt a more environmentally friendly energy policy, including rejoining the Paris Climate Accord to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, he said.

“The Thai government wants to promote a good environment for industrial estates and industries,” said Mr Suriya.

IEAT governor Somchint Pilouk said authorities also plan to set up floating solar farms in Songkhla, Saraburi and Lamphun, all supplying manufacturing plants.

If the project goes smoothly, the floating solar farm at Map Ta Phut is expected to operate in 2021, she said.

The IEAT selected Songkhla for the second floating solar farm, with a capacity of 30MW in Songkhla Industrial Estate.

PEA governor Sompong Preeprem said his agency is interested in investing in the four solar farms and private investors may be invited to join the project in the future.

PEA wants to promote clean energy as well as technologies that use smart energy.

“The farms will pave the way for PEA’s plan to become a digital utility provider,” said Mr Sompong, referring to electricity trade on an online platform and prosumer technology.

Source: https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/2016903/floating-solar-farms-at-estates-studied