The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) will open a bidding for a floating solar power plant and hydro power plant in hybrid systems at Sirindhorn dam in May.

Energy Minister Siri Jirapongphan said his agency has instructed the EGAT to pursue the 2018 Power Development Plan (PDP) by proceeding with the Hydro-Floating Solar Hybrid power plants at water reservoirs to make a 2,725 megawatt capacity in the next 10 years.

The Hydro-Floating Solar Hybrid project will be piloted at Sirindhorn dam with a 45 megawatt capacity, making the facility the world’s largest hybrid power plant to help with the electricity stability and water management efficiency.

EGAT Governor Viboon Rerksirathai said the project at Sirindhorn dam will include a floating solar farm on the reservoir, which will generate electricity along with the dam’s hydro power generators and existing electricity converting and delivering facilities.

The hybrid power project will improve the stability to the power grid and more flexibility for water management, feeding more electricity to meet daily peak usage period in the evening, reduce reliance on fossil fuel, and reduce the use of farmlands. Solar panels in floating farm will also achieve better efficiency due to low temperature at water surface, while the floating farm itself can serve as a new tourism landmark.

Double glass solar panels will be installed on buoys close to the surface, as such type of solar panels is suitable for high humidity and conditions and constant movements.

The EGAT will send invitations for the bidding on 15 May 2019, and will accept offers by the end of July 2019. A winning contractor will be announced by the end of October 2019, with the construction expected to commence in January 2020, and commercial power delivery to get started in December 2020.