MRT to partially power Blue, Purple lines with solar energy


Thailand’s first deal to use electricity from solar energy to power the rail transport system was finalised on Tuesday with a contract signing between CKPower (CKP) and Bangkok Expressway and Metro (BEM).

CKP, a leading producer of power from renewable energy in the Asean region, has entered into an agreement with BEM, operator of MRT trains as well as several expressways in Bangkok, to use solar energy in powering the MRT trains for the first time in Thailand.

The two parties will combine their knowledge and assets in installing a solar energy system on the MRT Chaloem Ratchamongkon Line (Blue Line) and the MRT Chalong Ratchatham Line (Purple Line), with combined distance of 71 km. and 54 stations.

“This is the first time in Thailand that solar energy will be used to power a rail transit system,” said Thanawat Trivisvavet, CKP’s managing director. “We are proud to be the first power producer in Thailand to enter such a historic deal. The contract also paves the way for the application of solar energy in new industries, and promotes the use of renewable energy in Thailand.”

Thanawat went on to say that the contract between CKP and BEM aims to produce electricity from solar panels to feed the MRT trains for the period of 25 years at 45.2 gigawatts, or 12% of the estimated energy that the Blue and Purple lines will use.

Sombat Kitjalaksana, managing director of BEM, added that by using solar energy to power the MRT trains, the company expected to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions at an equivalence of 300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

“The collaboration with CKP will also help us achieve the goal of carbon neutrality by 2065, as well as reduce our electricity cost,” he added.

Sombat said that BEM has prepared spaces of 106,000 sqm in six locations to install solar panels to generate electricity. These include the rooftops of train maintenance depots, parking buildings, and BEM’s office buildings.

The MRT Blue Line circulates around inner Bangkok area for a distance of 48 km and 38 stations, passing through several residential and business districts, as well as cultural attractions.

The MRT Purple Line, meanwhile, connects the northern part of Bangkok to the western section of the city over a distance of 23 km. and 16 stations.