Norway-based energy consultancy DVN has published a guide to help reduce risks for developers and increase investor confidence in the construction of floating solar power plants.

The recommended practices provide technical guidelines for electrical safety, anchoring and mooring issues, operation and maintenance, and specific plant design that can withstand site-specific environmental conditions.

Floating solar power is a promising renewable energy technology in which solar panels are installed on Source: DNVSource: DNVfloating structures on the surface of suitable bodies of water. The technology offers great potential for green energy production, particularly in areas where there is a shortage of available land for large photovoltaic plants.

According to DNV, installed floating photovoltaic capacity globally increased from just 10 MW in 2015 to 2 GW at the end of 2020. While some Asian markets such as China have made significant progress with the development of scores of utility-scale projects, the technology has yet to be embraced globally, in part due to bankability issues and a lack of track record in fields such as operations and maintenance (O&M) data.

While the recommended practices focus on floating photovoltaic projects at inland and near-shore water bodies, the document can still be applied to offshore developments. It is estimated that the total global potential capacity for deploying such power systems on manmade, inland waters alone could be as high as 4 TW with an expected pipeline of more than 10 GW by 2025.

To contact the author of this article, email shimmelstein@globalspec.com