Thailand to boost floating solar on hydro dams


Floating solar specialists Ciel&Terre and SCG have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop floating PV systems which will be based on hydroelectric dams in Thailand. 

The country plans to develop it’s capacity for floating solar on dams, and according to Bloomberg, nearly 2.7GW of solar capacity on nine dams is planned for completion by 2037.

Harold Meurisse, executive director of Sky & Earth Thailand, recently told the Bangkok Post that Thailand has always been an opportune market for the technology. “This is a country where the solar industry is in demand for cost competitiveness without compromising the safety and quality of photovoltaic installations,” he said.

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“As a result, establishing a partnership with SCG has become natural, bringing together the best polymer and floating solar energy experts to seize the major opportunity of hybridisation of the floating solar system and hydroelectric dams.” said Meurisse

Meurisse further voiced Ciel&Terre’s interest in expanding the developments to wider, regional levels.

Floating solar and hydropower offer mutual benefits – besides providing a layer of redundancy – in periods where dam levels are low, solar can make up for shortfalls in capacity, and in periods of low sun, hydro can compensate in turn.

Floating solar benefits from the infrastructure offered by hydropower, such as substations and transmission facilities, whilst floating solar provides surface-cover for hydroelectric dams, lowering water losses through evaporation.

Thailand’s Government Electricity Authority (EGAT) issued a call for tenders in June 2018 to develop 55 MW of floating solar capacity. Project investment is set to top 1.86 billion baht (€54 million), for projects destined for installation on the Sirindhorn Dam in the northeastern part of the country.

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