Juwi plans flood protected Thai PV projects

German energy group Juwi is set to construct five PV projects with a total capacity of 48MW in two provinces in northwestern and eastern Thailand - and in response to Thailand’s 2011 floods it plans to make the projects flood-protected.

“The frequency and intensity of these extraordinary weather events increases due to climate change and need to be considered when planning solar farms," a source from Juwi said.

The projects, spread across Kamphaeng Phet and Ubon Ratchathani, will have a capacity of 48MW, and come after Juwi signed a contract for the construction of the plant with investor Soleq Solar in December.

Juwi, along with its Thai construction partner and Soleq Solar, conducted and analysed hydrological studies for each location in order to assess the likeliness of floods and the best method of protection. The solar farms will be equipped with trenches, dykes, water retention basins and pumping stations.

“Dykes protect the system from external flooding,” said Amiram Roth-Deblon, Juwi’s regional director for Asia Pacific. “If it rains heavily and water accumulates in the area of the solar parks, the water will be drained by the installed pumping systems. The solar power systems will be able to cope with all kinds of weather conditions," Juwi plans to bring the plants online by September 2013, with electricity from the plant set to be fed into the local grid.

"Thailand has proven to be dedicated to renewable energies and is therefore an interesting market. We invest in Thailand for the long-term and plan to support the Kingdom in its effort to become independent from fossil fuels," said Roth-Deblon.

Meanwhile Juwi also reported that it has completed two solar power projects in Rajasthan, India. The projects, which the company developed with its business partner Green Infra, hold a total capacity of 26MW, of which 17 MW has already been connected to the grid. "India has become one of the most promising solar markets in the world today,” Rajeshwara Bhat, managing director of juwi India, said. “Green Infra and juwi India together look to play a key role in developing India's solar market and in connecting larger plants to the grid in the coming years."

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Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Policy, investment and markets  •  Solar electricity