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Cut in incentives for solar farms

Sep 06. 2012
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By WATCHARAPONG THONGRUNG
THE NA

The Energy Policy and Planning Office has reduced incentives for solar farms to promote more wind farms following its study of the feed-in tariff for power plants fired by alternative energy.

The feed-in rate will replace the current adder rate of Bt8 per unit for 10 years for the first groups entering the solar business and Bt6.50 per unit for those joining later.

Eppo’s study will be presented for consideration to the Energy Ministry and then the National Energy Policy Council before taking effect.

A ministry source said yesterday that Eppo still supports solar power but the business would get a lower feed-in rate of Bt6.50 per unit for eight years based on a return on investment of 11 per cent.

That rate applies to plants using rooftop solar panels with a capacity of 0.25-1 megawatt each.

The rate for ground-mounted panels from 0.25-1MW each will be Bt6.50 a unit, for panels of 1-10MW capacity will be Bt6.60 a unit. Both rates are for 10 years and are based on the same return of 11 per cent.

Unlike now, solar power plants using 10MW PV (photovoltaic) panels will not be eligible for a feed-in rate.

The feed-in rate for wind power plants with a capacity under 30 kilowatts will be Bt12.50 per unit for eight years. For 30-300KW, the rate will be Bt8.50 a unit for 10 years and for 0.3-10 megawatts will be Bt5.69 per unit.

Eppo wants to boost the number of wind farms, which currently get an adder of Bt2.50 per unit.

Eppo decided in June 2010 to set up a committee to conduct the study on a feed-in tariff to replace the adder system.

The study was completed in June this year. Many companies are eager to build solar farms, pending the adoption of the feed-in tariff.

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