Conergy plans further 31.5MW PV capacity in Thailand

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German PV project developer Conergy is further stamping its mark in the Thai solar market with an additional three solar projects in the pipeline.

The company has signed an agreement to deliver three 10.5MW PV plants in Thailand for Siam Solar Energy (SSE), a subsidiary of Thai Solar Energy Company Limited, representing its second large-scale order for the Bangkok-based investor.

Conergy is currently building two PV facilities for SSE following the signing of an agreement in autumn 2012. The two plants, which will have a combined capacity of 21MW when complete, are scheduled to be connected to the grid in the first quarter of 2013.

The three new PV plants will be located in the Thai provinces of Suphanburi and Kanchanaburi in western Thailand. In total, the three systems will cover a land area of 790,000 square metres.

Conergy, again, will act as general contractor and assume responsibility for the entire planning, engineering and design as well as for the supply of the components and the installation of the three solar arrays. In terms of construction, Conergy will collaborate with its long-standing local partners Annex Power and Ensys.

The plants will be equipped with 130,000 Conergy “P-series” modules installed on some 130 kilometres of Conergy SolarLinea mounting systems. In total, they will generate more than 45,200MWh of electricity annually which is said to be 1.3 times more than the amount that is currently consumed by the Kanchanaburi residents.

The plants are scheduled to complete in May 2013.

Thailand is an important market for Conergy which is keen to add to its current portfolio of PV plants in the country. Marc Lohoff, Conergy’s Chief Sales Officer Asia-Pacific and North America said: “With nine power plants and a total capacity of 70MW, Conergy is one of the market leaders in Thailand. Currently, Thailand has to cover around half of its primary energy demand with imports, which is very costly in the long run. The country is therefore subsidising solar energy.

“According to government figures, the solar capacity installed in Thailand to date is around 370MW – with a strongly rising trend. We therefore want to further increase our market share of around 10% and benefit from this growth potential, drawing on our extensive experience.”

Conergy CEO Dr Philip Comberg added: “We have made many important decisions already last year to strengthen our international project business and to significantly expand it in the solar growth markets. With this large-scale project in Thailand we let action follow our decisions. For the future, we intend to work on large-scale projects specifically and long-term with financial investors and strategic industrial customers who want to expand their portfolio like SSE with independent energy power plants. In addition to the growing Asian markets such as Thailand, we are focusing our efforts on the American solar market.”

Moreover, Conergy’s President Asia & Middle East Alexander Lenz believes that Thailand offers “favourable political and natural conditions” for solar. Lenz added that he expects grid parity to be reached in the country by the end of the year, helped by the high irradiation levels and falling PV system prices.

The solar market is also well supported by the Thai government and offers generous power purchase agreements (PPAs). Under these PPAs, the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) guarantees plant operators a fixed purchase price for solar power which comprises the average electricity price plus an additional premium called adder. This adder is currently set at THB6.5 (€0.16) and is guaranteed for a period of 10 years. The power plant operator thus receives the total of the average grid electricity price and the adder by way of remuneration.

Such subsidies are hoped to help the government reach its target to generate 25% of Thailand’s total energy consumption from non-petroleum sources by 2022.

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