A new solar power plant is to officially open today, part of an Asian Development Bank (ADB)-financed project to help Thailand add more renewable sources to its energy mix.
“By diversifying its energy sources and meeting some of its growing demand through renewables like solar, Thailand can generate fewer greenhouse gases and act as a model to other countries in the region,” said Christopher Thieme, director of ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department.
Two power generation plants, one with 10 megawatts gross capacity and the other with 34.5 megawatts, began commercial operation last month, and will sell 30 megawatts to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand and eight megawatts to the Provincial Electricity Authority. The plants are operated by Bangchak Petroleum Plc (BCP).
The project will help Thailand meet its target of tapping 25 per cent of its primary commercial energy needs from renewable sources by 2021. Currently about 85 per cent of the country’s energy supply comes from natural gas, coal and lignite. The project will also demonstrate the impact and sustainability of large-scale private sector solar power generation.
ADB’s assistance is a 15-year direct loan amounting to US$134 million (Bt 4.2 billion), including mid-term risk participation from Mizuho bank. In addition to the loan, ADB is also providing $400,000 in technical assistance to help BCP develop, implement, and monitor its carbon neutral goals and provide training to other energy companies in zero-carbon emission strategies.