We have moved into the era of saving the world. “Renewable Energy” plays a part in solving global warming, but many people may not know that renewable energy is not stable enough for power generation. It cannot replace main fuels, such as natural gas or coal yet. Therefore, renewable energy must be used along with main fuels in power generation in order for the power system to be secure and meet the power demand. At the same time, responsible parties in the energy field must also develop renewable energy so that it becomes stable.


         Many countries have started installing solar panels on water surfaces to reduce the use of community areas and forest areas. EGAT has started the Solar Power Plant and Hydropower Plant Project, also known as the Hydro-Floating Solar Hybrid Project. The pilot project is at Sirindhorn Dam in Ubon Ratchathani Province and has a capacity of 45 MW. Moreover, the project is included in the Power Development Plan B.E. 2561-2580 (PDP2018) and is considered the largest Hydro-Floating Solar Hybrid in the world.


         The Hydro-Floating Solar Hybrid Project combines hydropower from EGAT’s dams, which can generate a limited amount of power in some seasons, and solar power. When there is enough water, the dam can generate power to meet the system’s peak demand, but when there is a limited amount of water, the solar cells can generate power from sunlight during the day and use hydropower to support high power demand during nighttime. It can generate power continuously to support the system’s power demand. Other than increasing the security of the power system, it also helps manage water efficiently.


         The highlights of the project are 1) Low cost due to the use of EGAT’s original power system, such as the transmission system and the use of space for maximum benefit 2) Increasing power system security, reducing unstableness of renewable energy with Integrated Renewable Firm Power System and Energy Storage, and using Energy Management System (EMS) to control the power distribution 3) No impact on society, community, and environment by installing an HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) floating device made from the same material as water pipes, which is not dangerous to the environment and aquatic animals, and is installed on the water surface of EGAT’s dams; therefore, it does not affect the agriculture area and the community’s boat route.


         The first Hydro-Floating Solar Hybrid Project at Sirindhorn Dam in Ubon Ratchathani Province plans to begin commercial operation in December 2020. EGAT will also continue to implement the Hydro-Floating Solar Hybrid Project in other EGAT dams. As you can see, EGAT is determined to develop renewable energy and will keep improving the technology to overcome the limitations. By making stable renewable energy that can generate power equal to main fuels, the Thai people will always have secure and sufficient energy to use.