Theppana Wind Power Project, Thailand: Pioneering Private Sector Utility-scale Wind Power

Development challenge: Using renewable energy to provide sustainable, affordable, and reliable supply of electricity

Thailand’s energy security is at risk from rapid increases in energy demand, the increasing scarcity of domestic fossil fuel resources, and uncertainty surrounding the reliability and costs of energy imports. Energy security has therefore long been a top priority for Thailand. Despite this, when the project was developed, solar and wind renewable energy had not yet been developed at scale, and the market had limited experience with project financing for the renewable sector.

Development solution: Development of private sector wind power projects under the Thai government Small and Very Small Producers program to increase renewable energy supply and de-risk project financing in a region with relatively low-speed wind

Thailand has moderate wind potential. With its Integrated Energy Blueprint 2015–2036 (TIEB), the government aims to expand the use of on-grid wind power. As part of its alternative energy strategy, it has introduced policy instruments such as tax incentives and renewable energy feed-in tariffs for independent power producers.

Program solution and results: The 7.5 MW Theppana Wind Farm was one of the first utility-scale projects developed by the private sector in Thailand and was supported by the Asian Development Bank and the Clean Technology Fund of the Climate Investment Funds with concessional finance. The Theppana project demonstrated the viability of project financing for a utility-scale wind project in Thailand and led directly to the development of the larger 90 MW Subyai project. Today, Thailand has several credible private developers with utility-scale wind power projects and a local banking market that is familiar with lending to the renewable sector.