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Thailand is building one the world’s biggest floating hydro-solar hybrid projects on the surface of a dam and has almost completed it. This is a step towards boosting renewable energy production.
The solar farm is located on a reservoir in the northeast province of Ubon Ratchathani. Itcovers 300 acres (121 hectares) of water where about 144,417 solar panels are being installed. The workers are completing the last of seven solar farms.
The state-run Electricity Generation Authority of Thailand (EGAT) says that this pilot project is one of the world’s largest hybrid hydro-solar power ventures and aims to replicate it at eight more dams over the next 16 years.
As Thailand has long relied on coal for power and its plans for new coal-fired projects have been met with opposition over health and environmental risks, it is aiming to draw 35% of its energy from non-fossil fuels by 2037, according to its latest Power Development Plan.
Since November, EGAT has been putting together floating solar platforms at the Sirindhorn dam, one of the country’s largest hydropower sites, which it says should be able to generate 45 megawatts of power. An Energy Management System will be used to switch between solar and hydropower, depending on which can generate more electricity.