Thailand to double wind capacity by 2018

Two local renewables developers have reached financial close on three facilities capable of generating 170MW.

Modern Energy Management, a Bangkok-based project management firm, has teamed up with Thai developer Gunkul Engineering to bring three wind projects to financial close. 

The portfolio, which comprises the 60MW Wayu, 60MW Greenovation and 50MW Korat wind projects, will nearly double Thailand’s total wind energy capacity by contributing a total of 170MW to the grid once complete, MEM said in a statement. 

The Wayu project is due for completion by the end of 2016, while the Greenovation and Korat Wind projects are set to be commissioned by the end of 2017 and 2018 respectively.

MEM served as the owner’s representative on the projects to bring them through late-state development to financial close. It is also the owner’s engineer for construction on the Wayu project and will fulfill the same role on the Korat wind farm in the near future. 

MEM did not provide further financial details and the investment value of the assets is unclear. 

As the three projects fall in areas of medium-to-low wind speeds, new turbines called IEC Wind Class 3, which are especially suited to limited wind regimes, will be used to boost output. “Incorporating the latest low-wind turbines ensures that these wind farms will be able to maximise energy generation even in low-wind conditions. In turn, they will deliver long-term, steady returns to project investors,” said James Munro, project manager at MEM.  

“Our success in completing the financing of these flagship projects shows that Thai wind is truly an investment-grade prospect,” added Janpon Ngamaroonchote, vice-president of strategic planning and investment at Gunkul Engineering. 

Thailand’s energy consumption is expected to increase by up to 75 percent over the next two decades but much of its current energy infrastructure is set to be decommissioned, according to MEM. 

In view of the energy supply and demand challenges, Thailand aims to secure 25 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2036. In the past five years, the country has increased its wind power capacity from 5.6MW in 2010 to 234.5MW last year.