Thailand opens world’s largest floating solar power station

The world’s largest floating solar power station went operational in Thailand last week as the Kingdom announced plans to build the second one, as part of its continuing transition to green energy.

The largest floating hydro-solar farm in the world rests on the surface of the Sirindhorn Dam and Reservoir in northeastern Ubon Ratchathani province. Roughly the size of 70 football fields, it combines two renewable energy sources: solar and hydro.

Its 145,000 solar panels produce power during the day while three turbines generate electricity at night from the flowing waters of the dam.  The solar farm represents a $34 million investment. It began supplying power to the national grid on October 31, 2021.

Although China has several floating solar facilities, Thailand’s is the largest.

The Kingdom has plans to build a total of 16 hydro-solar power facilities to produce a total of 2.6 gigawatts. These green energy facilities will contribute to the Kingdom’s ability to cut its greenhouse gas emissions and achieve its goals of carbon neutrality by 2050 and net zero emissions by 2065.

Thailand is already the leader in Southeast Asia in solar and wind energy production. The Kingdom’s main source of energy today is natural gas, which accounts for about two-thirds of power generation.

Shortly after the opening of the facility in Ubon Ratchathani, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) announced it would begin construction of the second floating hydropower plant at the Ubolratana Dam in northeastern Khon Kaen province.

An EGAT official said that to raise the public’s environmental awareness, the agency would build natural walkways around all the reservoirs so that people could and see the plants in operation.

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