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Energy Ministry set to announce criteria on electricity purchase under community project

Sep 09. 2020
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By THE NATION

The Energy Ministry is planning to soon announce criteria for the purchase of electricity under its community power plant project, which has a target of 1,933 megawatts by 2024, a news source from the ministry said.

This project is under the government’s power development plan, from 2018 to 2037, also known as PDP 2018. The project will be piloted in four areas, the first two in Chiang Mai’s Mae Jam district and Prachuap Khiri Khan’s Thabsakae district, which were proposed by the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand. The other two are being proposed by the Provincial Electricity Authority.

The source said the agencies will present to Energy Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow two approaches of inviting investors:

1) The ministry will buy electricity from biomass or bio-power plants; investors will share profits with surrounding communities under the Feed-in tariff (FiT) rate that is higher than the normal price to ensure a worthy investment.

2) The ministry will buy electricity from biomass or bio-power plants; investors will not share profits with surrounding communities but will have to enter a bidding process to provide the lowest power cost to the national power grid.

In the first phase, the project aims to buy 700 megawatts of electricity by 2022 –100 megawatts will be from Quick Win power plants and the other 600 megawatts will be supplied by normal power plants.

Meanwhile, Small Power Producer Association president Nathee Sitthiprasas said the ministry must announce the buying criteria as soon as possible as the community power plant project is crucial to driving the grass-roots economy forward.

“The first 100 megawatts from Quick Win power plants are the most important step to show that the project is viable, not to mention that it will lead to generation of contract farming that will help increase local jobs and sustainable wealth distribution at the community level,” he added.

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