Thailand planning second floating solar power plant

Thailand’s second floating solar power plant will soon be soaking up sunlight atop a northeastern dam. The Kingdom’s power agency will begin accepting bids to build the plant in March, less than six months after the first, which is the largest in the world, went operational.

The solar panels float on a reservoir and dam used to generate hydropower.

The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) said the new floating solar plant will sit atop the Ubol Ratana Dam in Khon Kaen province. The first is at the Sirindhorn Dam in Ubon Ratchathani province. Both are in Thailand’s northeastern Isan region.

EGAT officials said that the agency has a development plan to achieve carbon neutrality through the use of reusable clean energy. The two hybrid power plants at the two dams would be able to help the agency reduce its carbon emissions by about 47,000 tons a year.

Both dams already generate electricity through hydropower. Adding solar power generation makes them dual-use facilities, maximizing their ability to supply Thailand’s power grid.

As both solar and hydropower are green and sustainable technologies, they also will advance Thailand towards its goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and sourcing a greater share of its electricity from renewables.

EGAT Deputy Governor Prasertsak Cherngchawano said that the solar panels would first be put to use powering hydropower plant. The solar system will be equipped with a BESS (Battery Energy Storage System) so that the Ubol Ratana power plant can feed power to the grid system continually and with stability.

Prasertsak added that bidding for the solar plant would begin on March 9. After that, EGAT will formulate plans to build floating solar power plants on several other dams around the country.

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