Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) has moved forward with the Hydro-Floating Solar Hybrid Project in Sirindhorn Dam, Ubon Ratchathani Province, Thailand, to support the clean power trend. Its first synchronisation to the grid occurred on 30 July 2021 and it is expected to begin commercial operation in October 2021.
Mr. Prasertsak Cherngchawano, EGAT Deputy Governor – Power Plant Development and Renewable Energy revealed that the floating solar power combined with the hydropower of Sirindhorn Dam in Ubon Ratchathani Province, or the Hydro-Floating Solar Hybrid Project in Sirindhorn Dam with the capacity of 45 MW had completed the installation of all seven sets of floating solar panels in Sirindhorn Dam and the mooring system along with the construction of the switchgear building. It was synchronised to the power grid for the first time on 30 July 2021 and it is expected to begin commercial operation in October 2021.
The Hydro-Floating Solar Hybrid Project in Sirindhorn Dam, is one of the largest hybrid projects in the world that combines floating solar power and hydropower from dams. The solar cells will generate electricity on days with efficient light intensity and will use hydropower on days with insufficient light intensity, or during night-time, in order to decrease the uncertainty of renewable power which usually depends on the weather, making it possible to generate electricity continuously for a long time.
The floating solar panels and other devices of this power plant were installed by using approximately 450 rai of water surface area that amounts to less than 1% of the total reservoir area. It uses double glass solar panels, which are highly resistant to moisture and do not contaminate the water. Moreover, the mooring system is made from HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) which is the same material used in water supply pipelines. More importantly, the Hydro-Floating Solar Hybrid Project in Sirindhorn Dam will decrease greenhouse gas (CO2) emissions by around 47 000 tpy.
Meanwhile, EGAT is continuing to develop many hydro-floating solar hybrid projects in the area of EGAT dams nationwide with the total capacity of 2725 MW as well as considering the capacity of more than 5000 MW. This is an important beginning for EGAT to move towards a truly carbon-neutral society in the future.