An international working group brought together 24 large energy companies, including EDP. The goal is to identify the most efficient and sustainable practices for floating solar gardens.
EDP is the only Portuguese company in the International Working Group that has identified the first global guide to good practices for the creation and development of floating solar PV projects.
Floating solar projects
The International Group – Led DNV, consultant specializing in energy It is active in more than 100 countries – it has 24 large organizations working in this energy field, among which there are companies such as EDF, Total, RWE, Acciona, Equinor or Statkraft.
The energy produced from solar panels installed in floating structures, such as tanks or lakes, is a technology under development in many countries and has strong potential for producing clean energy, especially in areas where there is a shortage of available land for installation of solar power stations. Although it is a promising technology, there are still a number of complications associated with its installation, development and management that motivated the creation of this “good practices” document.
Using the knowledge and experience that companies such as EDP possess in this field, several recommendations were then identified that would help the promoters of floating solar parks develop their projects with maximum efficiency and minimum environmental impact.
Guide, Posted this week, Recommends best practices to be followed in all project phases, from the location and design of the solar power plant, to technical issues such as electrical safety, anchoring and docking of floating platforms or monitoring water quality and environmental conditions.
EDP is one of the world leaders in floating solar, having developed a pilot project in Europe at Alto Rabagão Reservoir, in Montalegre, At a site chosen to test energy production in the most adverse conditions (such as a deep valley with rocky soil and significant changes in river levels).
With 840 photovoltaic panels (about 220 kW), which occupy 2,500 square meters of water mirror, this pilot unit was built in 2016 and successfully tested the integration of solar energy and hydropower, as well as the environmental and economic advantages of this new technology.
Given the good results of the project in the north of the country, EDP is now planning to install a new floating solar power plant in Alqueva Reservoir, in Alentejo, with approximately 12,000 panels (around 4,000 kW). Once again, the goal is to ensure renewable energy production, combining solar and hydropower, and reuse of existing infrastructures (such as connection to the distribution network), always in line with environmental and sustainability standards.
On a global scale, this technology is gaining dimensions. In 2015, floating solar capacity was only 10MW, but it has accelerated dramatically in recent years – by the end of 2020, it has already added 2GW, and by 2025, it is estimated that floating solar projects may reach a total capacity of 10GW. .