China connects world's largest fishpond solar plant to grid

According to an agreement signed between the local Anhui government and general contractor Hefei Jntech New Energy, the total planned capacity for the finalized fishpond PV program will amount to 300MW, reaching investments of around $462 million, and occupy fishponds covering an area of more than 1,640 acres.

The entire project, completed by EPC Xinyi Solar, is estimated to be finished within 2017 and is forecast to contribute to reducing carbon dioxide emission by more than 420,000 tons per year – something that has been high on the agenda for many regional governments in China for some while.

Fishpond PV projects are much more popular in Anhui province because they can be installed at scale without taking up precious land. In this east China province, land price is not as expensive as its eastern costal neighbors, but is still more costly than in western and northern Chinese provinces. Therefore, utilizing the widespread number of fishponds with PV will serve to cut these costs sharply.

Further, PV modules installed atop water can produce higher efficiencies due to lower water surface air temperature, and can also prove beneficial to fish-farming. Local government is pushing these metrics in order to encourage more of this type of ecological project.

Across Anhui province there are wider ambitions to make a greater splash in the fishponds solar sector, with planned capacity of 3.2 GW on the table between 2016 and 2018, according to plans laid out before the National Energy Administration (NEA) of China.