Siam Cement targets floating solar power projects

Siam Cement targets floating solar power projects
01 March 2019

Siam Cement Group (SCG) aims to diversify by developing floating solar modules that it hopes to supply as 1GW solar farms to state-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT). EGAT is planning to eight hydroelectric dams in Thailand over the next 20 years.

EGAT announced in January that installation of the first project, a 45MW farm at the Sirindhorn Dam on the country's eastern border, would begin in April, with four others following soon after. But the utility still has not picked a supplier.

"Right now, EGAT is in a competitive bidding process, and we’re trying to be one of the winners," says Chatree Kettong, energy development manager at SCG Chemicals Co, a subsidiary of Siam Cement Group.

SCG makes the mounting platforms for its floating solar farms from durable and recyclable high-density polyethylene. The pontoons should last 50 years, twice the expected life-span of the encapsulated, water-resistant silicon solar panels that SCG buys from various suppliers. Each module generates 100kW, and they can be easily bolted together.

The company has already installed 5MW of floating solar projects in eastern and southern Thailand, mostly at factories. Now the company is starting to sell to clients in other southeast Asian countries.

Thailand today gets 12 per cent of its energy from renewables and hydropower. The government aims to increase the country’s renewables share to 37 per cent by 2036, with solar providing 17GW. Half of that, or six per cent of the country’s total power, could in principle come from floating solar farms, according to the Thai law firm Pugnatorius.

Published under Cement News