Thailand’s Banpu will invest $200 million in U.S. renewables

Thailand’s energy firms are increasingly pursuing renewable power opportunities in the U.S. as Banpu Power Plc. announced its plans to invest at least $200 million in green energy projects in America.

“The U.S. has high energy demand and continuous growth,” said Kirana Limpaphayom, CEO of Banpu. “In Texas alone, the size of the demand is comparable to that of Thailand.”

Texas is the focus of Banpu’s current investment in America. The company is planning to build solar and wind power plants in the southern state starting next year. Total capacity for those projects is targeted to be 400 megawatts.

Although Banpu also has projects in Australia, China and Japan, its Texas power plants could account for about 50 percent of its global revenues from renewable energy by 2025, Kirana said.

Earlier this year, Banpu paid $430 million for the Temple 1 natural gas-fired power plant in Texas in a 50-50 joint venture with BKV Group of Dallas, Texas.

“Texas is a booming place for renewable energy. It has plenty of wind, sunshine and land that’s bigger than Thailand. Opportunities for renewable power are not just limited to the U.S., but in the short-term, the focus will first be in the U.S.,” Kirana said.

Other Thai energy firms that have been investing in the U.S. include B.Grimm and Electricity Generating Plc. (EGCO).

The allure of the U.S. for Thai renewable power firms is clear. A number of companies in the Kingdom have been branching into green energy, and American energy market of renewables could serve their goals.

To maintain growth, those companies are also pursuing opportunities and possibilities in other markets. B.Grimm is building renewable energy power plants of several types in Viet Nam, Laos and other countries in Southeast Asia.

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