Impact Electrons Siam Co Ltd (IES) has selected Danish-based wind turbine manufacturer Vestas as preferred technology/EPC partner to develop a 600 MW wind energy project in southern Laos.
The project, which can be completed in 2020, is set to become the largest wind farm in Asean. The signing ceremony of the memorandum of understanding is expected to be held at the Danish Ambassador’s residence in Bangkok next month.
Located near the Sekong River and linked to Pak Se, across from Ubon Ratchchathani province, the wind farm is set to be constructed on an area covering the districts of Dak Cheung and Sanxay in Sekong and Attapeu provinces. It will guarantee a highly stable source of energy at low cost to meet the heavy demand coming from new super infrastructure, telecommunications and industrial projects across the Asean Economic Community (AEC).
The power generated is expected to be sold on the Asean markets, mainly to Thailand and buyers bordering the Mekong. As such, the project will play a key role in the AEC, and Thai-Laos collaboration for sustainable development.
“It will distinguish Laos and Thailand as outstanding contributors to the fight against climate change under the Paris Climate Change Accord, often called “COP 21″, agreed last November,” said Woramol Khamkanist, a director of IES, which is developing the project.
The Kingdom and Laos are among 177 signatories committed to limit global temperatures to less than 2 degrees Celsius by reducing carbon emission and employing renewable replacements under COP 21. “The Thai-Laos cooperation will significantly raise our stature in the world by taking firm action with respect to the Paris accord,” said Woramol, adding that Southeast Asia has been criticised as being a laggard in curbing climate change because of its dependence on fossil-fired plants.
The Lao government, which signed an agreement to develop the project with IES back in August 2015, is set to discuss with Thai energy officials the terms under which the wind farm will provide Thai consumers below-average electricity prices and eliminate all government subsidies such as adders. “We believe renewable energy is a sustainable energy when it can compete with conventional fuel without any subsidy.” said Woramon.
Vestas and IES look forward to developing the wind farm to support the Asean and being part of the local community.
Under current terms, Thailand is buying electricity under a 7,000 MW purchase agreement. The amount is expected to be raised to more than 10,000 MW in the coming years. Laos is keen to make renewables a key part of its energy sales.
“The Lao wind power sale to Thailand will be part of the existing Lao allocation. It will not affect or take any share from Thai wind producers,” he said.