Tue, 11 May 2021

Thai floating solar panels seeks to replace fossil fuels

Robert Besser
22 Apr 2021, 12:55 GMT+10

BANGKOK, Thailand: Thailand is on the brink of putting the finishing touches to one of the largest projects installed atop a dam, seeking to harness the combination of floating solar panels and hydropower.

Experts describe this as a major stride in pursuit of bolstering the reliability and production of renewable energy.

Installation is underway for some 144,417 solar panels on a reservoir in Ubon Ratchathani, a province in northeastern Thailand, where the workforce has succeeded in completing the final of seven solar farms spanning an area of 121 hectares or 300 acres of water.

Electricity Generation Authority of Thailand (EGAT), a state enterprise, is flaunting this pilot venture as one of the largest hybrid solar-hydro power projects globally, and has set its sights on similar projects at eight other dams during the next 16 years.

"When all the projects are completed in every dam, we will have total capacity to generate 2,725 megawatts," according to Chanin Saleechan, who heads the project.

The recent Power Development Plan targets sourcing 35 percent of the energy mix from non-fossil sources by the year 2037.

EGAT has, since Nov 2020, been striving to complete the installation of the floating solar farm over a reservoir at Sirindhorn Dam, considered as among the nation's largest hydropower locations, with power generation pegged at reaching 45 megawatts.

The deployment of an Energy Management System will enable effortless migration between hydropower and solar and vice versa on the basis of which can produce more power, being a hybrid system that Saleechan believes will enable continual production of electricity.

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