Solar Energy to Power Bangkok Mass Transit Rail System

Thailand’s CK Power and Bangkok Expressway and Metro, the operator of two metro lines in Thailand’s capital Bangkok as well as expressways, have signed an agreement that will pioneer the first use of electricity generated by solar energy to power a mass transit rail system in Thailand.

The agreement establishes a collaboration between the two companies to provide know-how and assets to use solar energy to power the MRT Chalerm Ratchamonkol Line (MRT Blue Line) and the MRT Chalong Ratchadham Line (MRT Purple Line) that, together, run for more than 71 kilometers and serve 54 stations around Bangkok.

Thanawat Trivisvavet, Managing Director, of CK Power PLC, said, “This is the first time that solar energy will be used to power a Thai mass transit system on such a large scale.  We are proud to pioneer new uses for solar energy in Thailand, and our partnership with Bangkok Expressway and Metro will make an important contribution to increasing the use of renewable energy sources.”

“The collaboration agreement is for up to 25 years and we will supply a massive 452 million kilowatt hours – 452 GWh – during the project period.  That’s an amount equivalent to around 12% of the total anticipated consumption of the Blue Line and Purple Line combined,” he added.

Dr. Sombat Kitjalaksana, Managing Director, Bangkok Expressway and Metro PLC, said, “We are committed to supporting Thailand’s transition to clean energy and helping to fulfil the national goal to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2065. Under this arrangement, we can eliminate an incredible 300,000 tons of carbon emissions during the project period. The project is made particularly special because our arrangements with CKPower will, at the same time, also help us reduce our electricity consumption costs.”

According to Dr. Sombat, under the agreement, six locations with a total area of over 106,000 square meters, including the roofs of rail depots, car parks, and office buildings of the Blue Line and the Purple Line, will be used to capture solar energy.

The two mass transit rail systems are an important part of Bangkok’s transport infrastructure.

The MRT Blue Line runs in an almost circular route around Bangkok with a total length of 48 kilometres and with 38 stations and connects important residential, commercial, and culturally significant areas of Bangkok.

The MRT Purple Line primarily serves northern and western Bangkok and has a length of 23 kilometres and 16 stations. 

The first delivery of electricity under commercial operations is scheduled for August 2024, for both the Blue Line and the Purple Line, with various other phases coming on-stream through to February 2025.

In 2022, CKPower’s renewables-based power plants produced 9,767 GWh of clean electricity for Thailand, or approximately 4.5% of the nation’s total domestic electricity consumption, resulting in the elimination of around 5 million CO2-tons equivalent of greenhouse gases per year.

CKPower has 3,627 megawatts of installed capacity, 93% of which is renewables-based.