Statkraft, Ocean Sun total Albania's very first floating solar power plant

Feb 17, 2023 05:51 PM ET
  • Statkraft's floating solar plant on the tank of its Banja hydropower plant in Albania has 2 MW in capacity and also consists of four units. It is the only such power plant in Southeastern Europe with the exception of a few pilot projects in Turkey.
Statkraft, Ocean Sun total Albania's very first floating solar power plant
Image: Ocean Sun

Four years after Statkraft submitted a request with the relevant ministry, the professional completed its floating solar energy plant on an artificial lake near Gramsh in main Albania. Ocean Sun, which is additionally a Norwegian company, said it completed the 2nd stage was done already in December.

Right after the first floater with a diameter of 68.8 meters and 500 kW in capacity was installed in mid-2021, a tornado seriously damaged it. The unit was stated repaired practically a year later and also the staying three of equal dimension were added after that.

Statkraft has the largest hydropower plant portfolio in Europe. It also runs wind power, solar power, gas-fired power plants as well as area heating centers. The new floating photovoltaic unit gets on the storage tank of its 72 MW Banja hydropower plant, on the Devoll river. Both companies are betting on a possible advantage in market terms from a new design service for the arising technology

The ring-fenced system was carried out within plan as well as budget plan, with substantial improvements to the setup rate, Ocean Sun said in its quarterly report. The facility is creating according to expectations, confirming the positive outcomes seen from the initial floater, it added.

The 2 MW power plant will certainly create an estimated 3 GWh annually. With the exception of a few pilot projects in Turkey, it is the very first implementation of the modern technology in Southeastern Europe.

Many unknowns regarding new modern technology.

According to earlier announcements, Ocean Sun's rafts have a high-density polyethylene (HDPE) ring as well as a membrane layer that is just a millimeter or so thick. The material can hold both the solar panels as well as workers that install them or execute maintenance.

The advantage of supposed floatovoltaics is that they can be mounted without property ownership issues. Water cools the panels from beneath, boosting performance. Subsequently, their shadow minimizes evaporation from the lake, which is useful for hydropower plant drivers and also supply of water.

On the other hand, the danger from extreme weather condition occasions is still being assessed. Furthermore, the discussion is still on whether the lack of sunshine from covering the surface of a lake can spur the development of hazardous algae and lower the quantity of deepwater oxygen. It would certainly influence flora and also fauna and carbon dynamics, implying that the protected surface needs to be restricted.

Floatovoltaics progressing at slow rate in Balkans

One more floating solar energy plant project is underway in Albania in combination with a hydropower plant, yet additionally with a solar energy center set up on the dam. When multiple electrical power resources are integrated or a power plant includes batteries, it is called a hybrid power plant.

Private and also state-owned utilities in Greece, Romania as well as Montenegro are also making the initial steps to make use of the new innovation. Slovenia recently tabled renewable energy deployment legislation including floating PV.

German company Profine Energy plans to build a massive floating solar power plant on the Ogosta artificial lake in Bulgaria, which triggered protests.

Italian companies are creating numerous projects for a combination of offshore wind power, consisting of floating turbines, as well as floating solar power plants in the Adriatic Sea.

Ocean Sun is considering international development

In 2021, MP Quantum Group and Ocean Sun authorized a long-lasting cooperation agreement for floating solar in Greece as well as Cyprus. Work has actually magnified around two presentation centers last year, according to Ocean Sun.

The firm lately installed the first ever commercial floating solar power plant on the sea. At the same time, it integrated it with an offshore wind turbine, producing the first such hybrid power plant. Ocean Sun is establishing 2 more projects in Singapore and also one more one in China.

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