Modern Energy Management brings Thai wind power investments to fruition

MEM has been working with Gunkul Engineering to bring three wind power projects to financial close. Once complete, the wind farms will contribute 170MW to the grid – nearly doubling Thailand’s total wind energy capacity.

Modern Energy Management (MEM), a specialist in delivering project lifecycle certainty to renewable energy developers, financiers and investors, has been working with Gunkul Engineering, a leading Thai renewable electricity producer, to bring three wind power projects to financial close. Once complete, the three wind farms will contribute 170MW to the grid – nearly doubling Thailand’s total wind energy capacity.

MEM served as Owner’s Representative on the 60MW Wayu, 60MW Greenovation and 50MW Korat Wind projects, helping to bring the projects through late stage development to financial close. Furthermore, the firm is now acting as Owner’s Engineer for construction on the Wayu project, and will fill the same role on the Korat Wind project in the near future.

Over the next two decades, Thailand’s energy consumption will increase by up to 75%. At the same time, however, much of its current energy infrastructure is set to be decommissioned, while its natural gas reserves are due to run out by 2021.

Faced with these energy supply and demand challenges, Thailand is aiming to secure 25% of its energy from renewable sources by 2036. As part of these efforts, over the past five years the country has dramatically increased its wind power capacity – from 5.6MW in 2010 to 234.5MW last year.

However, in order to realise its goals, it will be necessary for Thailand to make the most of its available wind resource, and take advantage of the latest technology in order to do so.

Consequently, and as all three projects fall in areas of medium to low wind speeds, the wind farms will make use of innovative new IEC Wind Class 3 turbines, which are specially designed to maximise efficiency and output in limited wind regimes. By combining a larger rotor with the ability to select from a range of taller tower heights, these low wind turbines boost performance and will ensure that each project is optimised to maximise generation.

MEM’s work on each of these projects demonstrates the advantages of enlisting an independent partner with experience and expertise in new and emerging markets to deliver investment-grade projects, instil investor confidence and bring projects to financial close.

As part of its work on the three projects, MEM offered contract advisory services, served on project tenders and provided project management services related to the financial close process. The Wayu project is due for completion by the end of 2016, while the Greenovation and Korat Wind projects are set to be commissioned by the end of 2017 and 2018, respectively. They represent a significant step towards meeting Thailand’s ambitious energy targets.

Since 2013, MEM’s team has delivered specialist work in over twenty countries, and has been involved in Thai wind since the development of the first utility-scale wind projects. The firm helps to unlock significant financial and operational performance in emerging markets, and has a growing presence across Asia and Africa.

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