With 145,000 panels, the floating farm is expected to supply 45 megawatts of power to the national grid
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Spotted: Thailand will soon be host to the world’s largest Hydro-Floating Solar Hybrid Project.
Installed at the Sirindhorn Dam on the Lam Dom Noi River, seven sets of solar panels made of eco-friendly material—145,000 individual panels in total—will float on the water surface. Even though the panels cover an area the size of 70 soccer fields, this still represents less than one per cent of the size of the reservoir.
The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) explains that “the 45-megawatt Hydro-Floating Solar Hybrid Project will enhance the country’s power system security, reduce greenhouse gas emissions of around 47,000 tonnes/year, and provide clean energy to help mitigate global warming.”
The solar panels will be placed at an angle so that sunlight can reach into the water without affecting the underwater environment.
Installing solar panels on water surfaces also helps reduce heat, increasing the panels’ efficiency by 10-15 per cent compared to land-based equivalents. Other beneficial effects include reducing water evaporation in the dam by around 460,000 cubic metres per year.
The power plant will generate electricity from solar power during the daytime, while, at night, it will provide hydropower from the dam. The farm is expected to generate 45 megawatts of power to the national grid.
EGAT has plans to duplicate the pilot project, developing another 15 similar projects, reaching a total capacity of 2,725 megawatts. This would help Thailand to reach the goal of net-zero emissions.
The total cost for the project was $34 million (€ 30 million).
Floating solar farms are not new to Springwise. We have seen solar panels floating on a golf course lake, and significant floating solar projects in the city-state of Singapore. What is exciting about the Sirindhorn Dam project, is that it is a hybrid of solar power and hydropower. It is the largest such hybrid to date.
Written By: Katrina Lane