You are on page 1of 4

China Empowers Itself,

Launches Worlds
Largest Floating Solar
Power Plant
ASHWIN KUMARJUNE 6, 2017

C L E AN E N E R G Y T E C H

o Facebook
o Twitter
o LinkedIn
o Google+
o Email
o WhatsApp
o Reddit
Source: www.digitaltrends.com

The worlds largest floating solar power plant is now operational in Huainan city in Anhui
province in Eastern China. The 40MW power plant has been set up on a reservoir near a coal
mining area in the proximity of the city.

When one superpower, the United States has withdrawn from the 2015 Paris climate agreement,
the other superpower, China is showcasing its emission reduction and renewable energy
investment commitment.

China, the largest country on the globe by population is facing one of the most grievous
problems- air pollution. Air pollution is estimated to cause 1.1 million deaths a year in the
country. The major reason for pollution is emissions from power plants, factories and
automobiles. On the other hand, release of green house gases is causing rise in global
temperatures.

China is closing down polluting factories and coal-fired thermal power plants. In March, it
cancelled plans of constructing 103 new coal-fired thermal power plants of combined power
capacity upto 120GW. It has started promoting electric vehicles and renewable energy in a big
way.

Solar photovoltaic cell is a non-polluting and safe method of power generation unlike thermal or
nuclear power plants. But to set up a solar PV power plant of Megawatts scale, huge parcels of
land is required. When land demand for housing and agriculture is high, solar power plants
becomes unsustainable. To overcome this, the concept of floating solar power plant was
envisaged.

Related Read: Solar Cell Printing The Power Of Sun Now In Your Hands !

Sungrow, the global leading photovoltaic (PV) inverter system supplier, set up the worlds
largest floating PV power plant which has started supplying 40MW of power to the grid in
Huainan. The panels are assembled on a floating container which acts as both foundation for
panels and for engineers to walk on.The depth of the water ranged between 4 to 10 meters.

The massive solar plant is offered as a turn-key operation as part of Sungrows recent
developments. The company lowered the cost of installation and reduced assembly times by
shipping the solar panels in 20-foot segments.

Floating solar power plants seem to be better options as they can be set up on all water bodies
like lakes and seas near shores. They can be set up near cities where power consumption is more
and land availability is less. Thus transmission losses can also be reduced . The problem of
undulations on land is also overcome. Also, the rear of the panels get cooled due to evaporative
cooling. increasing the efficiency of the system when compared to land based systems.

The system has some risks too which can only be answered until the plant stands the test of time.
Due to the water body, there will be very high humidity which might cause rusting of the metal
easily. The company claims that the system is specifically designed to work in environments of
high humidity and salt spray. Also, the plant might deny sunlight access to the plant and animals
growing in the water body and thus affect the ecology.

Related Read: Floating Solar Technology: A Step Towards Addressing Indias Need of
Renewable Energy Sources

If the system is set up in sea, we have to see if it can withstand the worst sea conditions like
cyclone or storm. Besides, safely transporting the power from the floating objects is another
challenge. These challenges must be addressed effectively as part of the research and
development.

India has installed some of the floating solar power plants. The first one, a 10kW plant was
installed by Vikram Solar in Rajarhat New Town in Kolkata in December 2014. Manipur
Renewable Energy Development Agency (MANIREDA) installed floating solar power plant of
100kW capacity at Loktak Lake in Manipur, the largest fresh water lake in North East India.
NTPC installed a 100kW solar power plant at Kayamkulam in Kerala in March.

Innovations such as this and 1MW canal-top solar power plant on Narmada canal in Gujarat in
developing countries show their commitment in the international arena.