Pattaya eyes resurrecting failed Koh Larn wind-power plant

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Mayor Anan Charoenchasri has ordered a survey of what can be salvaged and what repairs might cost for the alternative-energy plant on Koh Larn.
Mayor Anan Charoenchasri has ordered a survey of what can be salvaged and what repairs might cost for the alternative-energy plant on Koh Larn.

Pattaya may try to resurrect its failed alternative-energy plant on Koh Larn.

The stingray-shaped “Ray Building” on Samae Beach was the final phase of a 170-million-baht foray into wind- and solar-power production that also was seen as a draw to tourists.

The pilot project produced electricity for Pattaya city offices and street lights on Koh Larn using 45 wind turbines. The Ray Building, completed in 2011, was an alternative-energy resource center – complete with solar panels – restaurant and souvenir stand.

The project created confusion with Koh Larn residents who thought the turbines were supposed to supply power to the entire island when, by design, the meager 200 kw they produced was only intended to power the city office and Koh Larn’s street lamps.

As with many projects launched by the former Pattaya mayor, however, no money was allocated for maintenance and the Ray Building and the alternative-energy experiment shut down in just a couple years.

Salt air has corroded equipment, the generator is shot and it’s doubtful the solar panels can be salvaged. Mayor Anan Charoenchasri ordered a survey of what can be salvaged and what repairs might cost.

In the interim, Anan ordered city officials to evict beach vendors who took over the facility and have been renting parcels of the public land to earn extra money.