They will build the world’s first large-scale floating hybrid solar power plant

The simultaneous construction of both facilities will help their promoters to define a series of parameters for the proper dimensioning, optimization and design, and will establish a benchmark for future projects of this type.

The Norwegian Government has decided to support, with NOK 79 million ($ 9.1 million), a research project led by the Norwegian-based renewable energy promoter Scatec, which aims to develop a hybrid hydroelectric power plant and large-scale floating solar in an undisclosed location in West Africa.

“A Scatec power plant, for floating solar and hydro hybrids will be planned from the outset as a world first,” Ocean Sun CEO Børge Bjørneklett told pv magazine. “Normally, floating solar power is a complement to existing hydroelectric plants, but this project will be developed specifically as a new combined plant with a low LCOE. Photovoltaic and hydroelectric are complementary depending on the seasons and hydroelectric can convert the intermittent photovoltaic into higher value stable energy “.

The project includes the development of a platform to plan, scale and optimize the operation of hybrid power plants. According to Bjørneklett, the optimization of the two energy-generating elements brings benefits to the technology of water recovery and to the dimensioning of the reservoir and the basin, as well as to the definition of the first levels of production of the solar plant during the construction phase . The project will also explore adaptations of the Ocean Sun system for amphibious use during the gradual filling of the reservoir. “

According to him, reducing water evaporation and the effects of photovoltaic cooling will be of key importance in the project. “Together with Prediktor and Internet of Things experts, the consortium will develop novel control mechanisms for the optimization and tuning of the hybrid [plant] production,” said the CEO.

“Hydropower and photovoltaic solar power are complementary technologies, leading to new project opportunities, for example floating solar power in hydropower reservoirs,” Scatec Solar CEO Raymond Carlsen said in October 2020 , when the operation was completed. “With this transaction, we see great potential in larger project origination and geographic expansion in the growing markets of Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.”

 

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