Soaking up the sun with floating solar farms

Depiction of Cirata Réservoir Solar Park being developed in Indonesia- Source: pv-magazine-australia.com

In recent years floating solar farms have been popping up on water bodies around the globe. While typically more expensive to initially install, floating solar facilities have several notable advantages, including:

Map depicting location(s) of floating solar farms for the Saemangeum Floating Solar Energy Project in South Korea – Source: koreaherald.com

It should be noted that there are unique challenges related to floating solar farms such as impacts from wave action and/or storms, particularly on larger water bodies; variable water elevations; as well as the need to design safeguards into the system whenever you have electricity infrastructure placed on or near a water source. Some of these challenges are why many floating solar farms tend to be constructed on treatment ponds, reservoirs, or retention ponds with managed surface water elevations.

Sayreville Floating Solar Farm, NJ – Source: pv-magazine-usa.com

The following lists identify the largest floating solar farms in the United States, Asia, and Europe. As the data indicates, the United States, in fact the rest of the planet, has a long way to go to catch up with Asia. The rankings are listed by megawatts (MW).

UNITED STATES

  1. Millburn Floating Solar Farm, NJ: Water Canoe Brook Water Treatment Plant Reservoir (2022) = 8.9 MW

2. Healdsburg Floating Solar Farm, CA: Wastewater Treatment Plant Pond (2021) = 4.8 MW

3. Sayreville Floating Solar Farm, NJ: retention pond (2020) = 4.4 MW

4. Windsor Floating Solar Farm, CA: Recycled Water Pond #7 (2020) = 1.8 MW

5. Fort Bragg Floating Solar Farm, NC: Big Muddy Lake (2022) = 1.1 MW

ASIA

  1. Saemangeum Floating Solar Energy Project, South Korea (2023) = 2,100 MW (2.1GW)

2. Omkareshwar Dam Floating Solar Park, India (2023) = 600 MW

3. Dezhou Dingzhuang Floating Solar Farm, China (2020) = 320 MW

4. Changhua Floating Solar Project, Taiwan (2021) = 181 MW

5. Three Gorges New Energy Floating Solar Farm, China (2017) = 150 MW

6. Cirata Reservoir Floating Photovoltaic (PV) Power Project, Indonesia (2022) = 145 MW

7. NTPC Kayamkulam Floating Solar Park, India (2021) = 105 MW

8. NTPC Ramagundam Floating Solar Park = 100 MW

9. CECEP Floating Solar Farm, China (2019) = 70 MW

10. Sembcorp Floating Solar Farm, Singapore (2021) = 60 MW

11. Sirindhorn Dam Floating Solar Farm, Thailand = 45 MW

12. Hapcheon Dam Floating PV Power Plant, South Korea (2021) = 41 MW

13-14. Gia Hoet 1 Floating Solar Park, Vietnam and Tam Bo Floating Solar Park, Vietnam (2021) = 35 MW

EUROPE

  1. Queen Elizabeth II Floating Solar Project, UK (2016) = 6.3 MW

2. Alqueva Reservoir Floating Solar Park, Portugal (2022) = 5 MW

3. Godley Reservoir Floating Solar Park, UK = 2.9 MW

SOURCES:

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