Ciel & Terre, Hexa Renewables round off 440 MW floating PV array

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Ciel & Terre, a France-based floating PV solutions supplier, has teamed up with Hexe Renewables to complete an extension of a floating solar project in Changhua county, Taiwan.

The project, which is one of the world’s largest near-shore floating PV arrays, has a capacity of around 440 MW. 

According to figures from Ciel & Terre, it currently generates approximately 260 GWh, which is equivalent to the annual energy consumption of about 65,000 households.

The first stage of the project was completed in 2020. Construction work on the extension, known as projects Changbin No. 3 and No. 4, began in October 2022. Spread over 171 hectares of water surface, the extension first became operational in October 2023. Once completed, it brought an additional 192.3 MW to the array.

The extension is fitted with a patented technology, the New Pillar Anchoring Solution, which uses concrete pillars and H-beam system to anchor the design. The technology addresses challenges posed by the array’s near-shore environment, which is subject to twice-daily tidal changes, as well as occasional typhoons.

Ciel & Terre Taiwan said the New Pillar Anchoring Solution is “the most reliable solution in that type of environment to limit the movement of FPV which reduces the extrusion risk during water variation and to keep the floating PV plant at its location at all time and all conditions.”

The two companies also designed a customized floating solar solution, including an upgraded spreader bar and fixation parts with a reinforced connection pin, to strengthen resistance to wave conditions.

“There are three engineers on-site providing assembly training and inspection to make sure all the Hydrelio parts and anchoring connection are mounted correctly,” said George Wang and Bess Chang, Ciel et Terre Taiwan project managers for Changbin No. 3 and No. 4.  “As we are the designer and manufacturer of our own floating solar solutions, we have also two quality engineers taking responsibility for product quality and delivery, to make sure all the products are met with the highest quality standards prior to delivery. On a normal day, there were 12 to 15-wheeler wing vans to deliver the floating PV system, capable of achieving around 20 MW in a month.”

In June 2023, Ciel & Terre said it had more than 1.5 GW of floating PV projects in the design phase or under construction. At the time, the company said it aimed to deliver 2 GW of cumulative floating solar capacity by 2026.

*The article was amended on February 23 to reflect that the project's total capacity is 440 MW.

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