Community power plans get stakeholder feedback

Community power plans get stakeholder feedback

The Energy Ministry will conclude plans for community-owned power projects under the Energy for All scheme within the next few months, says Energy Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong.

Relevant agencies are working on the scheme, and two state-run utilities, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) and the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA), are allowed to invest in community-owned power projects, Mr Sontirat said.

"The ministry is gathering opinions from stakeholders in the scheme to draw up details and business models," he said.

The Young Thailand Energy Academy Club held a seminar yesterday on "Community-Owned Power Projects: What Will Benefit the Locals?".

Sompong Preeprem, the PEA governor, said the Energy for All scheme should be part of the Pracharath (People's State) policies of the government.

"The ministry should establish Electricity Pracharath Co, while state agencies will own a 40% stake in this company," Mr Sompong said. "Another company, Community Pracharath Co, should be founded by local communities (40%) and power companies (40%). The remaining stake of 20% will be owned by state enterprises PEA Encom International, PTT Plc and Egat."

He said Community Pracharath Co will hold a 60% stake in Electricity Pracharath Co.

"This business model is expected to be more effective than forming joint-venture companies between power companies and local communities because the PEA expects local communities to have low capabilities to operate directly in the power projects," Mr Sompong said.

The Energy for All scheme is aimed at bringing waste-to-power generation to each local community. All projects are expected to commence operation in 2022.

Mr Sompong said development cost is an estimated 222-390 million baht for each power project.

The scheme is expected to generate annual income of 159,000 baht for each household.

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