Thai Solar Energy investing US$447 million over five years to develop 135MW of solar projects

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Bloomberg is reporting that Thai Solar Energy is planning to invest nearly US$447 million in the development of 135MW of solar projects, using direct-steam generation, over the next five years. The company’s first plant, a 5MW installation in the Huaykrachao district of Thailand’s Kanchanabuir province, is set to commence operation in December.

The company advised that over the next two years it plans to increase its total capacity to 35MW and develop 11 more projects within a three to five year period. Thai Solar secured US$95.78 million from Thai banks to fund the first stage of its solar expansion and stated to Bloomberg that it is in talks with potential partners for further projects.

Solar-thermal energy “is definitely a big challenge for a newcomer as much as it is an opportunity,” stated CFO of Thai Solar Prapharat Tangkawattana. Costs will fall as the company adds capacity, while Thailand’s government also provides subsidies to solar power developers to promote investment in alternative energy, she said.

Prapharat noted that Solarlite had provided the parabolic mirrors for the 5MW plant, with Man Diesel & Turbo SE supplying the turbines and Schott furnishing the receiver tubes. The company’s second plant, a 9MW array in Dermbang Nangbuad district, is anticipated to begin supplying electricity by the end of 2012.

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