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Floating solar power plant will can be moved from one site to another.

Nowadays, floating solar technologies have achieved great success and allowing installing an offshore solar power plant. This option was specific for only the wind and tidal technologies. However, thanks to floating technology, solar PV plant can be installed in the sea, hydraulic dams, and lakes. According to the Floating Solar Market Report [1], since 2015 the technology has begun to advance.

Currently, several floating PV power plants are installed in different regions, and the global capacity of floating solar plants was 675.38 MW in 2017, and excepted to reach 4127MW by 2024 [2]. The feedback of these projects will define the final design of floating PV technology.

Unfortunately, inland PV power plants occupy large areas of land and according to a straightforward estimation of 10 PV power plants are already built, we found that for each 100 MW the average area of land required is 240 ha. In fact, the land needed also depends on the quality of the solar panels, the more efficient the photovoltaic solar panels used, the space needed is reduced. In a case of floating PV power plants, we can profit of these land surface for other projects.

In general, diesel generator sets are most commonly used in marine facilities, such as cargo ships, passenger ships, oil platforms ...Etc.  The fuel tanks of diesel groups should always be filled, which requires additional free. Floating solar power plants can replace diesel generators to supply these marine facilities with free electricity at a reasonable O&M cost.

Thanks to floating option, the applications of solar energy photovoltaic can be diversified, among the common applications, we can mention:

  • Oil and Gas platforms are often located in remote offshore locations and are usually powered by fuel turbines or diesel generators. These platforms can benefit of 100% green electricity thanks to FPV power plants. This is achieved by installing an FPV power station close to the oil platform.

  • The islands are also remote places and require the same methods of supplying electricity as the oil platforms. These places are often small areas, and difficult to install an inland PV plant, then FPV power plants are optimal solutions for these remote locations.


The application mentioned above are fixed installations and requires a stationary FPV power station, so the question that arises, it is technically possible to move FPV power plant on water from one place to another?

This issue may be a new challenge for FPV plants that can be taken up in the coming years and requires further research and development (R&D).

As long as the entire platform is floating on water, it is technically possible to move it from one point to another. If this is feasible, we need to define the distance that can be moved and the weigh that can be supported, if we know that platform is made up of heavy equipment such as a central inverter.

Indeed, in the perspective that these plants can be moved, we can imagine large cargo ships and passages powered 100% by photovoltaic energy. This is achieved if the ships are able to drive the entire PV platform.

Therefore, the displacement of FPV power plants represents a big step towards to development of large-scale PV power plants, and an optimal opportunity for sites that do not have sufficient land to install onshore PV power plants.    



Référence :

[1] World Bank Group; Energy Sector Management Assistance Program; Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore. 2019. Where Sun Meets Water : Floating Solar Market Report.

[2] Global Floating Solar Energy Market, September 2019, Energias Market Research

[3] Mohit Acharya and Sarvesh Devraj (2019),Floating Solar Photovoltaic (FSPV): A Third Pillar to Solar PV Sector ?, TERI Discussion, The Energy and Resources Institute.



Energy Expert in Conventional & Renewable Electricity Generation

merahi reda's picture

Thank merahi for the Post!

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Aug 3, 2020 12:04 pm GMT

What would be the tangible benefits of moving floating solar? Would it be only once or twice during its life when economics dictated, or would it be a regular aspect depending on new energy needs that arise? And what would the added costs be to do so-- I'd worry about that becoming cost prohibitive

merahi reda's picture
merahi reda on Aug 3, 2020 2:10 pm GMT

Hello Matt Chester,

Thank you for your comment, effectively it’s a big chalenge if the FPV plant can move from place to other. This option play an important role in development of PV solar in water. Regarding the cost, the coe of solar energy is decreasing, and the equipments of the floting power station is in the course of perfectionnment. in addition, the quality of the PV modules is improving which reduces the PV field.

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