State-run utility Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, University of Hawaii, to measure and study the ability of Thailand’s grid to integrate renewable energy.

The MOU is applicable for a two-year period and will cover education, training, workshops, and exchange programs such as study tours or site visits. It will also cover energy policy, rules and regulations, the energy market, plans for power system control, information sharing among renewable energy experts on solar, wind, biomass or biofuel, energy conservation, and reviewing existing power infrastructure.

Thailand has already tried an innovative tender requiring ‘firm’ energy, via a 300MW hybrid PPA scheme, which encourages use of energy storage to supplement renewable energy generation. Large-scale solar opportunities remain part of a complex co-operative scheme at present.

Patana Sangsriroujana, EGAT’s deputy governor, Policy and Planning, said that EGAT, under the Ministry of Energy, is responsible for making sure the country’s electricity generation and transmission systems are secure and reliable. He added that Thailand is trending towards the use of renewable energy and has attracted multiple IPPs.

He said: “Therefore, EGAT, as an agency which oversees the country’s power security, must find an appropriate way to deal with the increase of renewable energy share by analysing and evaluating the efficiency of the power system for integrating renewable energy into the system. The collaboration with Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, which is skilled and experienced in renewable energy and linking power systems, is beneficial to Thailand’s power development.”

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