Using Ocean Sun’s technology, China’s SPIC commissioned the first ever commercial floating solar power plant on the sea. At the same time, it integrated it with an offshore wind turbine, creating the first such hybrid power plant.
China’s State Power Investment Corp. (SPIC) has commissioned the world’s first commercial offshore floating solar power plant on the sea. It was designed by Norway-based Ocean Sun and utilizes its patented technology. The facility is also the first floating solar power plant integrated with offshore wind.
SPIC is the largest photovoltaic asset owner on the planet, Ocean Sun said. The project unlocks the potential of hybrid offshore power plants with increased efficiency and lower levelized cost of energy (LCOE), the benchmark ratio of lifetime expenses and energy output, according to the statement.
China is committed to setting global standards for renewable energy and batteries and other storage solutions. The largest vanadium flow battery has just been put into operation in the country. In addition, the city of Chaozhou in Guangdong revealed a plan for an offshore wind power plant of 43.3 GW in the Taiwan Strait.
More projects with Norwegian partners under consideration
“This is a true milestone for Ocean Sun, and for the floating solar industry. The successful project funded by SPIC and constructed using the Ocean Sun solution shows how the common goal of reducing greenhouse CO2 emissions will be achieved with development across borders. We are excited to continue working closely with SPIC through the Ocean Sun team based in China,” Chief Executive Officer of Ocean Sun Børge Bjørneklett said.
The plan is to build a floating wind-solar project with a total capacity of 20 MW next year.
The two floaters, with a peak capacity of 0.5 MW, are connected to the transformer on an SPIC-owned wind turbine, which is in turn linked to a submarine cable. After the completion of the pilot period and full technical and economic demonstration, the plan is to build another floating wind-solar project with a total capacity of 20 MW next year, Ocean Sun revealed.
Ocean Sun has another floatovoltaics deal in China
The facility is located offshore Haiyang, a city in Shandong province in eastern China. Ocean Sun licensed in July its solution to Sunneng Technology for the project. The two companies are also working on a 1 MW floating solar power pilot near Yantai in Shandong.
The performance of floating photovoltaic panels, also known as floatovoltaics, benefits from water cooling them from below. They are currently installed on lakes. The proponents of the technology point out that covering a lake reduces evaporation, which is useful for hydropower plant operators and water supply.
The risk from extreme weather events on floatovoltaics is still being assessed. Norway-based Statkraft and Ocean Sun have built the first part of a floating solar power plant in Albania last year, but it was sunk by a tornado just days after completion. The unit was repaired in April.
Italian companies are developing several projects for a combination of offshore wind power, including floating turbines, and floating solar power plants in the Adriatic Sea.