WHA Utilities and Power Public Company Limited (WHAUP) signed an agreement with AutoAlliance (Thailand) Co., Ltd (AAT), an automobile assembly firm for Ford and Mazda, to purchase power 8-MW from the Floating Solar, which will generate and distribute electricity from solar panels installed on a floating buoy in a raw-water reservoir covering 60,000 square meters of installation area in WHA Group’s Eastern Seaboard (Rayong) Industrial Estate. The project is expected to start commercial operations by September 2024.
Mr. Somkiat Masunthasuwun, Chief Executive Officer of WHA Utilities and Power PLC (WHAUP), revealed that on 30 October the company and AutoAlliance (Thailand) Co., Ltd, an automobile and auto parts manufacturer and assembler for Ford and Mazda, have reached a power purchase agreement from the 8-MW Floating Solar. The project will generate and distribute electricity from solar panels installed on a floating buoy in a raw-water reservoir covering 60,000 square meters of installation area in WHA Group’s Eastern Seaboard (Rayong) Industrial Estate. It will start COD by September 2024.
“The 270-million-baht Floating Solar on a raw-water reservoir in Eastern Seaboard (Rayong) Industrial Estate of WHA Group covers an installation area of 60,000 sq m and has an electricity-generating capacity of 8 MW. This project will help the customer lower energy expenses and use clean energy up to 9.6 million units per year. This agreement is flexible to serve customer demand with a contract term of 5 to 20 years. AAT signed an agreement with WHAUP for 5 years + 5 years. Besides, the customer will be able to offset emissions of greenhouse gas more than 5,400 tons of CO2 per year, following our mission to lower greenhouse and carbon dioxide gas emissions in the long term. We aim to do business with sustainability in all aspects of economic, social, and environmental,”.
Subsequently, after signing the contract with AAT, WHAUP has experienced an increase in cumulative electricity-generating capacity to 181 MW. Currently, the total electricity-generating capacity from solar power plants that have been operational is 106 MW. Within this year, the company aims to achieve a cumulative electricity-generating capacity from renewable energy projects totalling 300 MW. This will drive the company to have the total electricity-generating capacity, based on the proportion of shareholding, at 847 MW.
Meanwhile, Mr. Kenichiro Saruwatari, President and CEO of AutoAlliance (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (AAT), said that this collaborative agreement with WHAUP marks the third phase of collaboration, following the successful installation of solar panels on AAT’s factory rooftops in 2021.
Previously, the 5-MW Solar Rooftop project on AAT’s factory rooftop area of over 45,000 sq m has already started its COD and expanded an additional electricity-generating capacity by 1 MW. Upon the completion of Floating Solar, AAT expects to have a total solar electricity-generating capacity of 14 MW within the next three years. This will emphasize WHAUP’s strong leadership in solar cell innovation. The power purchase from Floating Solar helps AAT achieve its energy cost reduction and environmental conservation goals, which the company has consistently upheld. Furthermore, it allows a reduction in production costs for the entire 10-year contract period. As a result, AAT will be able to utilize clean energy totalling 96 million units within the span of 10 years.
Simultaneously, the project will also help reduce carbon dioxide emissions (CO2 offset) released into the atmosphere by up to 54,000 tons, in line with the company’s policy on global warming and greenhouse gas emission reduction. AAT has a policy of producing new energy to move forward becoming RE100 (Renewable energy 100%) by 2035.
AAT is confident in WHAUP’s capability and expertise as WHAUP specializes in design, engineering, installation, and construction as well as handling the licensing and providing comprehensive maintenance services following the installation. Moreover, the team of professionals will provide service and customer care, with their deep understanding of high safety standards. These factors lead AAT to be assured that having a business partner like WHAUP will support the company and enhance its competitiveness in the future.
“The installation of the Floating Solar system represents our dedicated efforts to incorporate environmental innovations to help reduce carbon footprints. We are very excited to increase the production capacity of clean energy and advance the manufacturing of quality vehicles through the continuing use of clean energy,” stated Mr. Kenichiro Saruwatari, President and CEO of AutoAlliance (Thailand) Co., Ltd.