South Korean state energy firm plans 100 MW floating PV project

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State-run South Korean energy firm, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) has today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with local renewable energy company, Hwaseong Solar Energy to develop a 100 MW floating solar PV plant near the western coastline of the country.

The identified site for the project is Hwaseong Lake, which is a man made body of water that sits on South Korea’s western shoreline, some 70 km southwest of the capital, Seoul.

According to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, KHNP has signed a long-term lease agreement with the local provincial government to develop the solar plant across 861,000 square meters of the lake, covering approximately 8.3% of the lake’s surface.

Hwaseong Solar Energy will act as the EPC of the project, once development contracts are signed. KHNP is reported to be investing 220 billion won ($202 million) in the project, which is part of a wider 10 trillion won renewable energy push by the state utility out to 2030.

South Korea’s renewable energy penetration is currently 7%, and the government is targeting a 20% ratio on its grid by 2030.

Floating solar installations are increasingly viewed as a viable and effective option for many regions in Asia, particular those that have challenging terrain and space constraints, such as Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.

Once completed, the 100 MW floating solar plant would be the largest of its kind in the country, and one of South Korea’s largest PV installations.

Last summer, Korea Rural Community Corp. revealed plans to install 280 MW of floating solar capacity at three sites across the nation by 2019. The largest of these are also expected to be near to 100 MW – located on two lakes near to the city of Dangjin, Chungcheongnam province.