The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) of Thailand estimated an investment of USD $1 billion by next year in the government’s solar farm project following the upcoming 800 MW solar tender through an auction process.

The auction will be carried out in two phases, with 600 MW of capacity in the first phase and the remaining 200 MW of capacity in the second phase.

According to Viraphol Jirapraditkul, director and spokesman for the Energy Regulatory Commission, about 1200 applicants are expected to submit proposals to receive licenses for the first quota of the 600 MW of the government’s solar tender. Both private applicants and government agencies are likely to be involved.

The winners of the auction process will be announced on December 24th of this year. The winners are required to begin commercial operations of their solar projects by September 2016.

Some of the companies have already submitted their bids. Thai Solar Energy, in collaboration with 10 state agencies and co-operatives, intends to install 49 MW of solar farms, mostly in the central region, whereas Inter Far East Energy Corp has joined hands with the Thai navy to build an 11 MW solar project.

The ERC will hold an auction for the balance of 200 MW capacity for government agencies and co-operatives in the middle of 2016.

This bidding is part of Thailand’s government goal to raise solar power capacity to 6 GW by 2036 from 1.57 GW  in 2014.

Thailand has emerged as one of the most attractive solar power markets for power generation as well as module/cell manufacturing, as the government has proactively implemented support policies to promote growth in the solar power sector, including announcing long-term feed-in tariffs for rooftop as well as large-scale solar PV projects.