Floating PV conquers two new countries

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Two more countries have this week revealed plans to install their first floating solar projects.

In Albania, which relies almost completely on hydropower for its power demand and has an abundance of water surfaces, local power utility Korporata Elektroenergjetike Shqiptare (KESH) has submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure for the construction of a 12.9 MW floating PV plant.

According to the document, the facility will be installed at the water reservoir of the Drin River near Vau i Dejës, a town in the Shkodër County, northwestern Albania, where KESH is operating the 260 MW Vau i Dejës Hydroelectric Power Station. The plant will sell power to the electricity spot market, the document says.

More details were not provided.

Albania is currently supporting large-scale solar through tenders and a scheme for projects up to 2 MW. The country’s installed PV capacity, however, still consists of just a few MWs.

As for the second project, the government of the Ivory Coast said it has received €80 million in funds from the French Development Agency (AFD), part of which it plans to use to finance the country’s first floating PV project.

“This funding is intended to improve access to electricity, especially in rural areas and diversify the uses for all population, to supporting the Electricity for All Program (PEPT), deploy infrastructure management and intelligent management of the network, and to realize the first floating solar power plant in Africa,” it said in a statement released.

Again, no more technical or financial details were provided.

The Ivory Coast is currently seeking to implement several projects for ground-mounted solar parks, including a 66 MW solar power plant in Korhogo, a city in the northern Poro Region; a 37.5 MW PV project in Boundiali Department; and a 25 MW facility planned for the town of Benguébougou, also in the Korhogo region.

The Ivorian Government is planning to meet the country’s increasing energy demands by adding around 150 MW per year through IPPs, according to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).