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         On December 15, 2021, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn traveled to Sirindhorn Dam in Sirindhorn District, Ubon Ratchathani Province to open the Sirindhorn Dam Hydro-Floating Solar Hybrid. Her Royal Highness was welcomed by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy, Governor of Ubon Ratchathani, Commander of the 6th Infantry Division, Deputy Commander of the Provincial Police Region 3, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Energy, EGAT Governor, heads of government sector, and EGAT officials.

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         On this occasion, Mr. Supattanapong Punmeechaow, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy presented to Her Royal Highness the agenda brochure and Mr. Kulit Sombatsiri, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Energy reported the objective. Moreover, Mr. Boonyanit Wongrukmit, Governor of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) presented a donation of two million baht to the Chaipattana COVID-19 Aid Fund (and Other Pandemics) along with Mr. Harald Link, President of B.Grimm Power Public Company Limited who added another two million baht to the Fund.

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         Afterwards, HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn pressed the button to reveal the signboard ‘Hydro-Floating Solar Hybrid at Sirindhorn Dam’ which was a project first piloted by EGAT at Sirindhorn Dam. This 45-MW project is the largest hydro-floating solar hybrid in the world with solar panels installed on the water surface covering an area of 450 rai. The power plant can generate electricity from both ‘solar power’ during the day and ‘hydropower’ from the existing dam when there is no sunlight, or during peak power demand at nighttime. The power plant is controlled and managed by an energy management system (EMS) along with a weather forecast system to increase the stability of the power system and lower the limitations of renewable energy; therefore, it can generate electricity longer. The power plant began commercial operation on October 31, 2021. In addition to enhancing the country’s power system security, the power plant also reduces greenhouse gas emissions of around 47,000 tons/year, achieves eco-friendly clean energy, and drives Thailand towards a low carbon society.

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         HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn then visited Sirinthan Praphakon Building and pressed the button to reveal the signboard ‘Sirinthan Praphakon Building.’ Within the building held an exhibition titled ‘50 Years of Sirindhorn Dam towards Prosperity from Water and Sunlight’ which presented the history of Sirindhorn Dam since its construction in 1968, along with when His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great opened the dam on November 27, 1971 and gave the royal permission to name the dam ‘Sirindhorn.’ On this occasion, HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn visited the Nature Walkway, planted a Queen Crepe Myrtle tree, took a picture with the welcoming team, and received a basket of community products before departing Sirindhorn Dam.

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         Sirinthan Praphakon Building also displays information about energy and has a multipurpose area to receive visitors. The building was designed with a curved shape to follow the path of the sun using the concept of the earth's orbit around the sun, portraying electricity generation from solar power, as well as made with materials that showcase nature amidst harmony and simplicity. The building is connected to the Nature Walkway with an open space shaped like a lotus flower (the symbol of Ubon Ratchathani Province) and leads to a magnificent view of the reservoir and floating solar cells. EGAT aims to develop the area into a renewable energy learning center and new tourist attraction of the province, which will create jobs for the community surrounding the power plant so they can be sustainably self-sufficient.

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