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BayWa r.e. sets up its first floating solar farm in Thailand with UBE

Bangkok, 19 April 2022: Renewables firm BayWa r.e. has worked with one of Thailand’s leading manufacturers and distributors of processed cassava products – Ubon Bio Ethanol PCL (UBE) to set up its first floating solar platform in Ubon Ratchathani, 

The Floating Photovoltaic farm, often termed “floatovoltaic”, is expected to generate 2.3 MW or about 4,440 MWh of energy in the first year of operation alone. The project started supplying electricity as Commercial Operation Date (COD) in early 2022 and it is the first floating solar cell platform project operate as Corporate PPA in Thailand.

Two floating platform technologies have been deployed over two ponds, with one using a pure pontoon technology and the other deployed with a pontoon and metal support structure floating technology. 

In addition, the project is made up of 6,900 units of bifacial PV modules and a bespoke Medium Voltage SKID being engineered for the floating farms.

“This project with UBE in Ubon Ratchathani sets the stage for more floating solar opportunities not only in Thailand but beyond for BayWa r.e. Many countries and urban cities in Asia face issues with land scarcity and as such, we are constantly looking at innovative and new ways to adapt, providing solutions that work locally driven not only at the government level, but also complemented by private sector led initiatives.” said Daniel Gaefke, APAC Director, BayWa r.e.

In developing its floatovoltaic farm, BayWa r.e. was selected as UBE’s partner because of the firm’s successful track record globally and in the region. 

“Sustainability is important to UBE for both social and environmental dimensions, and it is our mission to be responsible corporate citizens. The solar floating farm in Ubon Ratchathani is one of many renewable energy projects we have done as we place more emphasis on sustainable operations and the use of clean energy. Furthermore, waste from the production process is used to create renewable energy. In total, we are now generating more than 10 MWh in electricity alone from renewable energy. UBE is passionate and ambitious about our sustainability initiatives and is targeting to operate on 100% green energy.”

“The team was very professional and provided us with all the necessary guidance, and modern technologies including technical knowledge and expertise, giving us the confidence that  UBE will achieve energy-saving objectives earlier than planned,” Sureeyot Khowsurat, UBE CEO.

The project in Ubon Ratchathani, with UBE, represents BayWa r.e.’s desire to partner with corporations and government agencies in Thailand and around the region to work on clean energy projects. Working with UBE on the floatovoltaic farm in Ubon marks BayWa r.e.’s first floating solar project outside of Europe and the first in Asia Pacific, with more upcoming projects on the line, including a few in Asia Pacific.

In Europe, BayWa r.e. has worked on clean energy projects in the Netherlands, Great Britain, Mali, Rwanda just to name a few. In South Korea, BayWa r.e. has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Ulsan City, for the development of floating offshore wind projects off the coast of Ulsan in November 2021, and completed construction of its first solar park in the country. 

In Vietnam, BayWa r.e. has recently opened a solar distribution warehouse and new office facilities in Ho Chi Minh City to serve local installers and integrators. As a testament to its expertise, BayWa r.e. was also awarded the 2021 Solar Company of the Year in the ‘Distributor’ category at the Philippines Solar Week Leadership Awards 2021.