World’s largest floating solar farm constructed in China
In late 2018, French solar power company Ciel & Terre’s 70 MWp floating solar plant was connected to the national grid in the eastern province of Anhui, China.
Constructed in a former coal-mining area near the city of Suzhou by China Energy Conservation Solar Technology (CECEP) and the China Energy Engineering Group Shanxi Electric Power Design Institute (SEPDI ), the floating photovoltaic (PV) array will aim to improve the energy structure in the province and the quality of the environment on-site.
Covering an area of 1.4 km2 and consisting of thirteen separate islets, the project is Ciel & Terre’s biggest project so far and is currently the largest floating PV station in the world.
Supporters of floating PV farms assert several environmental and advantages – prevention against algae proliferation; conservation of water sources by reduced evaporation; and more efficient operation as the water prevents overheating. Critics, however, cite higher installation costs and the fact that too much coverage of the water surface may interfere with aquatic life as notable disadvantages.
Photo: Ciel & Terre International