Thailand expects to inaugurate in June its first hydro-solar plant, which it claims to be the largest in the world, with 144,000 solar panels that will occupy 120 hectares and produce 45 megawatts (MW). The panels will float on water in the Sirindhorn dam in Ubon Ratchathani, in the northeast of the country, so that the plant will produce electricity simultaneously and uninterruptedly with the power of water and light.
This hydro-solar project is the first of 13 that the Asian country intends to build on existing dams between now and 2037, with which it hopes to generate up to 2,325 MW using panels to counteract its high dependence on fossil fuels for energy production.
As the first large-scale floating photovoltaic power plant in Thailand, the completion of the project is of great significance to the development of local renewable energy. pic.twitter.com/MgWYCCLLdY
— JA Solar (@JASolarOfficial) June 18, 2020
The local authorities believe that the dam will also stimulate local economic activity and the arrival of travelers, in a territory where tourism is the main source of income. To this end, they have built an elevated wooden and glass walkway that will be open to the public by the end of 2021.
The construction of the plant is part of the energy development plan that Thailand approved in 2018, which states that 35% of energy production by 2037 should come from renewable sources, although this accounted for just 8.5% of total energy production in 2019, according to the International Energy Association (IEA).