U.S. solar firm completes four plants with Thai partner

screen-shot-2017-02-17-at-11-22-55-amArizona-based First Solar Inc. said last week that it had finished building four solar power farms north of Bangkok with Thai partners that will provide 18 megawatts of electricity and help Thailand reach its goal of sourcing 25 percent of its energy from renewables by 2036.

“The completion represents a significant installation of First Solar modules in Southeast Asia, and we congratulate Prime Road Group and Bouygues-Thaion on the successful delivery of this milestone project today,” said Robert Bartrop, First Solar’s director of business development in Southeast Asia and China.

Tempe-based First Solar says its joint program with Thai partners could land a series of agreements to build more solar power facilities both in Thailand and other countries if governments take an active role in contracting consortiums to produce solar power.

First Road’s Thai partner is the Prime Road Group Co-Op Project, developed under Thailand’s Governmental Agency and its Agricultural Cooperatives Program. It has supported the development of solar farms across Ayutthaya and Pathum Thani provinces where First Road’s four plants are located. Both areas are home to many Thai industrial estates.

“First Solar’s partnership with the Prime Road Group Co-Op Project reflects the value of First Solar technology in hot and humid climates such as Thailand, and we look forward to supporting future projects and the country’s renewable energy targets,” Bartrop said.

The four plants utilize more than 158,500 First Solar thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules to produce an expected 29,600 megawatts of power per hour (MWh) of clean electricity in the first year of operation.

Meanwhile, global solar company Conergy, and Blue Solar, a Thai solar power firm, announced the completion of a new 5-megawatt solar power plant in Samut Sakhon, just south of Bangkok. Conergy has supported the development of more than a dozen solar farms in Thailand.

The plant was built on land provided by the government and agricultural cooperatives under a program for renewable power plants with an installed capacity of 5MW or less.

“Blue Solar’s outlook for solar PV continues to be positive. Driven by the Agricultural Cooperatives and Governmental Agency Program, we believe that the solar power market in Thailand will continue to grow at a reasonable rate,” said Visait Hansaward, Managing Director of Blue Solar.