Commercial operations have begun at a floating solar plant located at the Banja reservoir in Albania, Statkraft has announced.
The plant, which is supplying the Albanian national electricity grid, is an innovative R&D project with an installed capacity of 2 MWp and planned annual generation of approx. 2.6GWh. It is comprised of four individual floating units, each unit has a surface area of approx. 4,000 m2 and is equipped with more than 1,500 solar panels.
The technology has been developed by Norwegian company Ocean Sun and was implemented with an Albanian company, Doko. It is located on Banja reservoir which is an integral part of the 72MW Banja hydropower plant.
“Statkraft strongly believes that the future of energy will be based on renewables,” commented Statkraft’s SVP for Europe, Simen Bræin. “We have completed the implementation phase of the Banja Floating Solar Project, an innovative R&D project that can contribute to the further development of renewables. Based on the Albania’s renewable energy potential, we believe that the country can play a key role as a renewable energy hub in the region.”
“The completion of the implementation phase of this R&D project marks another achievement for Statkraft in Albania,” added Statkraft’s Country Head in Albania, Rigela Gegprifti. “This project has been implemented in close cooperation with the Albanian authorities. With our Banja and Moglice hydropower plants in Albania we are the largest private investor in renewable energy in the country and are currently looking into further optimizing these renewable assets.”
Statkraft has been present in Albania since 2007. Albania has one of the highest shares of renewable energy in Southeast Europe. Hydropower accounts for the largest share of Albania’s electricity generation, representing around 95% of its installed power capacity. In addition, Albania has some of Europe’s highest number of sunshine hours per year, presenting significant potential for the development of solar power and a good fit with existing hydropower capacity.