GIS based site suitability assessment for wind and solar farms in Songkhla, Thailand

Publication date: March 2019

Source: Renewable Energy, Volume 132

Author(s): Shahid Ali, Juntakan Taweekun, Kuaanan Techato, Jompob Waewsak, Saroj Gyawali


The objective of this study was to identify ideal sites to locate utility-scale wind and solar farms in Songkhla, a province in southern Thailand. Geographic Information System (GIS) and analytical hierarchy process (AHP) were used to assess various physiographic, environmental and economic siting criteria. The data used in this work were primarily obtained from governmental organizations. Additionally, a Global Horizontal Irradiation (GHI) solar map with a spatial resolution of 1km/pixel for the years 2007–2015 was obtained from Solargis as well as a 200 m resolution wind resource map of 100 m above ground level obtained from previous research conducted in the study area. The results of the study indicate that Songkhla has potential land areas of up to 66.113 km2 and 844.93 km2 available for wind and solar farms respectively, though only areas of 38.749 km2 and 69.509 km2 respectively were judged as being “highly suitable”. Most of these highly suitable areas were located in the Ranot District. The results of this study provide an important starting point for stakeholders interested in investing in renewable energy in Southern Thailand. Knowledge of the suitability of sites will provide a greater level of confidence and therefore likely expedite the renewable energy investment process.

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