South Korean floating PV specialist Scotra Co Ltd has begun work on a 25 MW floating project at a water reservoir in Goheung-gun county, in the Korean province of Jeonnam.
The company is building the array for Korean renewable energy company Topinfra Co Ltd and said the project will be finalized by next year.
The developer said that once complete, the plant will be fourth largest floating PV system in the world and the largest outside China. South Korea’s largest floating installation at present is an 18 MW facility built by local developer Gunsan.
Scotra added, it has constructed floating PV systems with a combined capacity of 40 MW worldwide and has begun work on its first offshore PV project. The company is performing research and development for a 2.5 MW government-funded project through the Development of Photovoltaic Modules and Systems Applicable in the Sea framework, supported by the Korea Energy Technology Assessment Institute. The offshore facility will be constructed in 2020-22.
Korea bets on floating PV
A lack of land for large scale solar power projects has prompted the South Korean government to turn to floating PV.
At the end of July, the South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced plans for the world’s largest floating solar installation: a 2.1 GW plant near the Saemangeum, an estuarine tidal flat on the coast of the Yellow Sea.
The $3.9 million project will be 14 times larger than the current floating solar record holder, a 150 MW plant being built in Huainan City in China’s Panji district. “It will also be 1.6 times more than the combined capacity of the global floating solar facilities for all of last year,” the ministry stated at the time.
South Korea had cumulative installed solar generation capacity of 9.5 GW at the end of July, according to the latest statistics released by the ministry. Of that figure, around 1.64 GW was deployed in the first seven months of this year alone.