Largest Floating Solar Plant In the World is Finally Turned On

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The largest floating solar plant in the world is now opened- and it is now fully linked to the power grid of the city of Huainan, China.

The Plant

It was built by the PV inverter system supplier, Sungrow, and is now linked to the grid of the Chinese city Huainan.

The 40MW solar plant is 4 – 10m deep and is located in an area that used to be where many coal mining procedures took place. Due to those previous coal operations, the water in that location is mineralized and almost completely useless. This lake only formed following several years of coal mining. The land surrounding the coalmines collapsed, and the cavity was later filled up with rainwater.

This works perfectly for solar plants, since the water “naturally cools the system.” It also avoids the issue of having to take up space in areas with dense populations- in issue that is particularly prominent in China. The plant also has PV arrays afloat with it in order to reduce the amount of fresh water that is evaporating. The arrays are also adapted to work in high humidity conditions.

China And Environmental Responsibility

For quite some time, China was one of the worst countries in terms of its carbon emissions. However, in recent years, it has been carrying out several projects to attempt to turn this around. It is now among the top countries that are adopting renewable energy sources.

According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, China invested approximately $102 billion in domestic renewable energy in 2015, which is five times that of the UK and over twice that of the US.

“At the moment China is leaving everyone behind and has a real first-mover and scale advantage, which will be exacerbated if countries such as the US, UK and Australia continue to apply the brakes to clean energy,” the director of Ieefa, Tim Buckley, said.

“The US is already slipping well behind China in the race to secure a larger share of the booming clean energy market. With the incoming administration talking up coal and gas, prospective domestic policy changes don’t bode well.” he said.