State-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand eyes 2nd floating farm
Set to build a solar plant in Khon Kaen
State-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) looks forward to building its second floating solar farm in Khon Kaen after commencing commercial operation of the hydro-floating solar hybrid project at Sirindhorn Dam in Ubon Ratchathani.
Claimed to be the world’s largest hydro-floating solar hybrid facility, the 45-megawatt Sirindhorn project passed a three-month trial, following delays due to the Covid-19 impact.
Egat governor Boonyanit Wongrukmit said his agency is preparing for the construction of the second floating solar farm at Ubolratana Dam in Khon Kaen, with a capacity of 24MW.
The government granted permission to Egat to run floating solar farms with a total capacity of 2.725 gigawatts at its 15 dams nationwide over the next 20 years.
Mr Boonyanit expects the period to be shortened, thanks to the state’s carbon neutrality policy, which is aimed at achieving a balance between carbon emissions and absorption.
Egat is planning to ask the government to allow it to add more power generation capacity to the project, with the amount increasing to 5GW.
The approved capacity is required to be put in the 2022 power development plan.
Mr Boonyanit said its first floating solar farm occupies only 1% of the total area of Sirindhorn Dam, leaving Egat with a large area for further development.
The solar farm covers an area of over 450 rai on the dam’s reservoir.
Egat contracted a consortium, led by SET-listed B.Grimm Power Plc, to undertake engineering, procurement and construction work for the 842-million-baht facility early last year.
The project’s completion allowed the first synchronisation of the 45MW floating solar farm, which operates in tandem with the 36MW hydro powerhouse at Sirindhorn Dam, with Egat’s grid on July 30.
The floating solar farm also has an energy management system and a weather forecast system to ensure stable power supply, said Mr Boonyanit.
Egat currently operates a total of 24 hydroelectric power plants nationwide, including 10 dams which are located downstream.
To raise the public’s environmental awareness, Egat also has a plan to build 415-metre natural walkways at all its reservoirs, which will be further developed into new tourist attractions.