Mauritius opts for floating PV

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Mauritius is planning to deploy a 2 MW floating solar power plant at its Tamarind Falls reservoir, a 6.3km stretch of water next to the Tamarin mountain range.

The United Nations Development Programme has issued a tender to select consultants for a feasibility study for the project.

The selected experts will have to undertake an in-depth analysis for the setting up of floating solar PV at the reservoir, while also carrying out a feasibility study for similar projects in lakes and reservoirs across Mauritius. The deadline for submission of proposals is December 6.

According to the document, the project will be financed with funds from the “Accelerating the transformational shift to a low carbon economy” initiative, which aims to remove the bottlenecks to investment in low-carbon development for grid-connected intermittent renewable energy, and to mini-grid PV development for the principal outer island of Agalega.

“Solar irradiation potential in the Republic of Mauritius averages six Watts per square meter per day, and is considered as quite good for solar PV projects,” the UNDP said, in the document.

Mauritius is supporting distributed solar generation through a net metering scheme. The first phase of the scheme was closed in September 2016, and saw the deployment of around 5 MW. Under the current, second phase, Mauritius’ Central Electricity Board hopes to deploy another 2 MW.