Floating solar farms are gradually gaining strength. Its advantagessuch as saving space on land, the ease with which they are installed or the benefits of water cooling on their performance, make them an increasingly popular option in the commitment to renewable energies and the transition to leave fossil fuels behind. In Portugal, without going any further, they have just announced a huge “solar island” with 12,000 panels deployed in a reservoir in Alentejo.
The Portuguese proposal falls short, however, when compared to the enormous complex that they have put into operation in China, for the moment the biggest “photovoltaic farm” in the world.
The facility, powered by Huaneng Power International (HPI), reaches 320MW and is distributed in a reservoir located near the Dezhou Thermal Power Plant in Shandong, from 593 hectares. According to Seetaothe panels extend along a good part of the surface.
One project, two phases
The plant was built in two successive phases. The first, of 200 MW, included a storage capacity of 8MWh and was completed in 2020. The second, of 120 MW, was finished in 2021 and was activated at full capacity at the beginning of this year. Those responsible for the facility expect it to generate about 550 million kWh of clean energy annually, which will allow a considerable cut both in coal consumption and CO2 emissions.
The Dezhou floating solar farm is part of a larger project that also includes a 100 MW wind farm and 8 MWh battery storage capacity. Together, the three endowments are integrated into the infrastructure that supplies energy to the network.
Chinese electric power company Huaneng Power International has put into operation a 320MW floating solar power plant in Dezhou, a city located in China’s Shandong province. pic.twitter.com/H0GBLGkJC2
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Dezhou’s new “solar farm” won’t hold its record for long. In 2023 it is expected to come into operation a floating installation located in the Omkareshwar dam, in Madhya Pradesh (India), with a total capacity that, once 100% activated, will almost double the Chinese supply: 600MW. A week ago In fact, progress was being made in its bidding procedures.
HPI’s new facility at its Huanneng Reservoir isn’t the first large floating “solar farm” either. In recent years, different projects have been taking place, such as Kyocera in Japan; the one of panji district, in China; that of the dam Sirindhornin Thailand, or the one that has just been announced in the Alqueba reservoir, located in the southern region of the country.
Cover Image | SASAC