By 2037, the state-owned Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) promises to launch 16 platforms in 9 reservoirs. The total capacity of the platforms will be 2.7 GW.
Thai government adopted a program according to which, in 2037, the share of renewable energy in the country's energy sector should be at least 27%.
“As soon as prices for solar equipment began to decline, many developers turned their attention to reservoirs connected to the grid”, says Genie Chase, the Head of analytics department at BloombergNEF in London. “It seems that this is an excellent combination of long-term and well-structured planning, and individual projects in this area are already being implemented”.
EGAT will have no need to invest heavily in infrastructure due to the placement of floating SPP on the surface of existing hydroelectric power plants reservoirs. Floating solar farm will connect to the same networks and improve the performance of the hydroelectric station, smoothing the voltage drops during periods of droughts and shallowing of the rivers. In the future, it will be equipped with lithium-ion batteries for storing excess energy produced.
The largest station in Thailand will be the station on the Sirikit Dam, which should start work in 2035. Its capacity will be 325 MW.
The tender for the development of the first project starts in 2 months. Both Thai and foreign companies can participate. The country will allocate $63 million for the construction of a floating solar farm of 45 MW at the Sirindhorn Dam in northern Thailand. The first station should start work in 2020.
The cost of floating stations is 18% more expensive than ground stations due to the need to construct platforms with fixtures and higher safety requirements for electricians on water, according to the World Bank. The advantage of floating stations is that it is not necessary to cut down forests or build up agricultural land, and water, cooling panels, increases their productivity by 10%.