Huge renewable scheme up for auction
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Huge renewable scheme up for auction

Energy officials are preparing to organise a new auction for a 3.66-gigawatt renewable power scheme to increase clean energy usage in Thailand, says the National Energy Policy Council (NEPC).

Bidding is expected during the next administration as Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha plans to dissolve the House of Representatives this month, leading to a general election tentatively scheduled to take place on May 7.

The first auction for renewable power scheme, with 5.2GW in electricity generation capacity, drew huge interest from investors who proposed projects with a total capacity of almost 17GW, said Kulit Sombatsiri, permanent energy secretary.

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) is selecting qualified companies and will announce the winners this year, he said.

All selected projects are scheduled to start operation during 2024 and 2030.

The 5.2GW capacity included bio-gas (335 megawatts), wind power (1,500MW), on-ground solar farms (2,368MW), and on-ground solar farms with energy storage systems (1,000MW).

However, 65 bidders failed to pass ERC investment criteria for biogas projects.

In the second auction, the 3.66GW capacity is projected to come from on-ground solar farms and on-ground solar farms with energy storage systems (2,632MW), wind power (1,000MW), biogas (335MW) and industrial waste-to-energy projects (30MW).

The ERC will use the same selection criteria and power tariff rates as those in the previous auction.

The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand plans to build power transmission lines to connect with power plants under the 3.66GW renewable power scheme.

The push for electricity generation from renewable sources is part of the national power development plan (PDP), which is applicable between 2018 and 2037.

Under the 20-year PDP, the capacity of renewable power was initially set at 10GW. The NEPC yesterday agreed to increase the capacity by 2GW to 12GW.

Mr Kulit said the NEPC also resolved to approve a plan to buy electricity from hydropower plants in Laos: 374MW from Xekong 4 and 468MW from Nam Ngum 3.

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