Southeast Asia’s largest wind farm, with generating capacity of 103.5 megawatts and costing 6.5 billion baht, will start operating in Nakhon Ratchasima next month.
The project is part of ambitious plans by Wind Energy Holding Co (WEH) for wind farms generating a combined 1,000 MW by 2020, said Nopporn Suppipat, the company’s founder and director.
Operated by its subsidiary First Korat Wind Co, this first wind farm signed a power purchase agreement with the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand in 2010.
The project consists of 45 wind turbines located 300 metres above sea level.
Mr Nopporn said once operational, the project will top Southeast Asia’s current largest wind farm at Bangui Bay in the Philippines.
That one has been operating since 2005 with capacity of 33 MW.
WEH is also developing a second 103.5-MW wind farm, also in Nakhon Ratchasima province and at a similar cost.
It will commence commercial operation in next year’s first quarter, operated by the Korat Two subsidiary.
The project’s first phase will see a combined 550 MW of wind farms operating under seven licences the company has obtained from the Energy Ministry.
At a total cost of 40.1 billion baht, first-phase development is scheduled for 2011-16.
A second phase of wind farms with an additional 500 MW in combined capacity will be developed from 2016-20.
WEH projects are located in the areas where wind speed is six meter per second, not the best wind resources, but still compare favourably with wind resources in Thailand’s coastal areas where average wind speeds are around five meter per second or less. At wind speeds lower than five, wind turbines can stand idle for a period of time, making those projects less economically feasible.
In addition to two existing projects, WEH plans another six projects with combined capacity of 510MW by 2016, three of which projects with combined capacity of 270MW have been approved by EGAT. Additional 500MW of generated capacity which will be developed between 2016 and 2020.