Construction is expected to start at the end of this month on a 2MWp floating solar pilot project at the Banja hydropower plant in Albania.
Developer Statkraft said that now all regulatory approvals are in place, it has issued a notice to proceed to its supplier Ocean Sun to implement the first phase of the project.
The pilot has an estimated total investment of EUR 2 million and will be placed at the Banja reservoir, where Statkraft is operating its 72MW Banja plant.
In the first phase of the project, Ocean Sun will deliver a complete floating 0.5 MWp DC system based on its innovative design for floating solar technology. The floating power plant will be constructed in collaboration between Ocean Sun and Statkraft, and is expected to be finalised in Q4 2020.
Subject to the first unit performing in accordance with requirements, Statkraft will proceed with the second phase of the project, which will add additional three floating 0.5 MWp units in 2021, bringing the total solar capacity on the Banja reservoir to 2 MWp.
Testing new technology for floating solar power panels fits very well with Statkraft’s strategy to grow the company’s renewable energy generation from hydro, wind and solar. If the technology is proven successful and the potential for cost-competitiveness can be achieved, a wider application of floating solar may take place also in other Statkraft locations.