Taiwanese floating solar potential

Dec 13, 2019 04:42 PM ET
  • A math model, created by a Taiwanese scientific group, has shown that aquavoltaic installations can be a profitable alternative to on-ground power plants in the country with a shortage of land area. Even though floating solar promises bad influence on aquaculture, profit from power generation is likely to make up for this loss.
Taiwanese floating solar potential
Image: Daniel Jolivet/Flickr

Scientists at two Taiwanese national universities have evaluated the prospects of floating solar development on multiple local fishing farms. The 40 thousand hectares of Taiwanese pisciculture ponds can host about 40 gigawatts of floating PV. This is more than double the solar capacity targeted for deployment by the Taiwanese authorities in five years. 

The mathematical model evaluated floating solar potential at a milkfish pond. The model compared parameters measured at a solar-free area with the pond, 40 percent of which were occupied with a floating PV plant. As well, the model examined the pond with a simulated floating system covering more than 60 percent of the surface. 

The experiment has shown that solar arrays floating on pond surface reduce the amount of oxygen dissolved in water. In turn, this worsens fish appetite and slows down fish growth. The more area of the pond is covered with solar system, the more it increases the negative impact on fish production. Over a 5-month period, floating array covering 60 percent of the pond area is expected to reduce production of fish by 5 percent in summertime and by 10 percent in winter. 

However, the prospective electricity revenue generated by fish farmers has been estimated as exceeding 20 thousand USD yearly. The calculation was based on the outdated FIT of 0.155 USD per kilowatt. Though the new feed-in tariff scheme has not been approved by the Taiwanese authorities yet, new tariffs are sure to make up for the expected lost revenue of 1,197 USD caused by slow fish growth. The scientists predict doubled revenue from a pond, 20 percent of which hosts 150 kilowatt of floating PV. A 301kW array covering 40 percent of water surface is expected to bring four times higher revenue.



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