NAKHON RATCHASIMA, Feb 13 – Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra officially launched Thailand’s first wind power project here, acclaimed as the largest in Southeast Asia, in a move to become regional leader in green enegry.
The West Huay Bong 2 and 3 wind farms in this northeastern province are producing wind energy to be supplied to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) and other customers with a production capacity of 207 megawatts (MW).
Nopporn Suppipat, chief executive officer of Wind Energy Holding Co, said Tuesday that each wind farm consists of 45 wind turbines, each with a power production capacity of 2.3 MW or a total production of 103.5 MW for the entire project which is operated on an investment of Bt13 billion (US$495 million).
West Huay Bong 2 is developed by KR 2 Co and West Huay Bong 3 by First Koat Wind Co. Both companies are subsidiaries of West Energy Holding Co. The two projects are located at Dan Khun Thod and Theparak districts in Nakhon Ratchasima.
Both projects have been awarded non-firm power purchase agreements from EGAT and smaller power producers with a 10-year subsidy of Bt3.50 per unit added from the Power Department Fund Management, Office of Energy Regulatory Commission.
“We are doing something different for sustainable development,” said Mr Nopporn. “Wind power is inexhaustible and clean. It lessens our dependence on diminishing fossil energy and it is in accord with the government’s target to increase production of alternative energy to 9,201 MW, including 1,200 MW of wind energy, in 2021.”
Wind Energy Holding plans to expand its wind power project to produce more than 1,000 MW overall. It has signed agreements to sell wind power from West Huay Bong 2 (90 MW), West Huay Bong 3 (90 MW) and Khao Khor Wind Farm (60 MW).
The company is scheduled to supply wind power to EGAT next year while the latter promised to purchase more from the three projects.