French floating PV specialist Ciel&Terre is teaming up with SCG, an Asian petrochemical company, to develop floating solar plants at hydroelectric dams in Thailand.
5 August 2019
Ciel&Terre and SCG have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop floating PV systems on hydroelectric dams in Thailand.
Harold Meurisse, executive director of Sky & Earth Thailand, recently told the Bangkok Post that Thailand has always been a promising market. “This is a country where the solar industry is in demand for cost competitiveness without compromising the safety and quality of photovoltaic installations,” he said. “As a result, establishing a partnership with SCG has become natural, bringing together the best polymer and floating solar energy experts to seize the major opportunity of hybridization of the floating solar system and hydroelectric dams.”
Meurisse added that Ciel&Terre is eager to extend this partnership to a wider regional level.
The combination of floating photovoltaics and hydropower has several advantages. It allows floating PV installations to benefit from the infrastructure offered by hydropower plants, such as substations and transmission lines, but it also helps to slow the evaporation of water in dams, which is a common phenomenon in Thailand. Hybrid energy production also balances out during periods of declining efficiency for either technology, like when water levels are low or when the sun is absent.
Thailand aims to develop its capacity for floating PV installations, particularly on dams. According to Bloomberg, the country plans to install nearly 2.7 GW of solar capacity on nine dams by 2037.
Last June, the Thai Government Electricity Authority (EGAT) issued a call for tenders to develop 55 MW of floating solar. The projects will be installed on the Sirindhorn Dam in the northeastern part of the country. The total investment will hit 1.86 billion baht (€54 million). The call for tenders will close on Aug. 20.