Philippines turns on 200kW floating solar project

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Reddit
Email
Floating solar plant in the Philippines. Credit: Ocean Sun

A 200kW floating solar project is now live above one of the Philippines' largest reservoirs.

Norwegian floating solar technology provider Ocean Sun partnered with Chinese solar manufacturer GCL-SI in June to build the floating solar system in the 1,170-hectare Magat reservoir, found 220 miles north of capital Manila on the island of Luzon. It is the Philippines-based renewable energy group SN Aboitiz Power-Magat’s (SNAP) first non-hydro project.

The floating system will undergo a 10-month stress-test to ensure it can withstand inflows and typhoons and will initially service house load requirements for SNAP’s Magat hydroelectric power plant. The dam currently generates 360MW of hydro-electricity.

Philippines Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi has been a proponent of floating solar, a new technology popular in countries where land is in high demand. In an inauguration event for the pilot project on June 27, the politician highlighted solar's potential meet the country's energy needs, while pointing to solar fields’ prohibitive effect on agricultural land use.

Dr. Børge Bjørneklett, Ocean Sun's chief technology officer, told PV Tech in an email that conditions in the northern parts of Luzon were “challenging” on account of the region's frequent typhoons.

“The high wind force, as well as considerable water level variation, had to be accounted for in the mooring analysis of the installation. The pilot has been in operation only a couple of weeks but will be tested through the rainy season and the months to come,” he said. “The system is well-instrumented and we expect to acquire new knowledge and continue to make improvements on details of the design. We are particularly interested to further explore technical aspects and validate the performance of our direct cooling principle via the special floating membrane.”

According to the official public information arm of the Philippines government, the 52-metre floating ring could be expanded to 450 hectares if testing goes smoothly.

Dr. Bjørneklett said that he could not confirm the future size of the project, but that “by putting up several floater units it's possible to expand to a sizable utility installation of several hundred MWs. There is strong interest to do this if the pilot tests are positive.”

Two hundred and fifty miles south of Magat, a solar testbed is under construction in Laguna Lake, Southeast Asia's third-largest lake. Philippines renewable energy developer SunAsia Energy completed the first segment of this 20.5kW floating PV testbed in March. It also hopes to demonstrate how the floating technology, combined with a screw piling method, can withstand typhoons.

Read Next

PV Tech Premium
July 22, 2022
Analysts have flagged concerns over a lack of clarity from Indonesia’s government related to power exports, potentially spelling trouble for project developers looking to transmit renewables generation from the country to neighbouring Singapore.
July 21, 2022
Quality assurance company DNV is collaborating with South Korean floating PV (FPV) component manufacturers to explore business opportunities in the global floating solar market.
July 20, 2022
RWE and floating solar company SolarDuck have partnered to explore the commercialisation of SolarDuck’s offshore floating solar PV (FPV) technology by trailing its potential in harsh environments in the North Sea.
July 19, 2022
Keppel Energy Nexus has landed a contract to pilot a membrane-based nearshore floating solar PV (FPV) system at Jurong Island, Singapore using FPV company Ocean Sun’s technology.
July 18, 2022
Portuguese utility EDP is to add energy storage to a hybrid floating solar and hydropower project after it was energised last week.
July 12, 2022
Trina Solar will build a 71MW floating PV (FPV) project in the Malaysian state of Sarawak after winning a tender held by the state’s utility, Sarawak Energy.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
September 7, 2022
15:30 AEST (UTC +10)
Solar Media Events
September 14, 2022
London
Solar Media Events
October 4, 2022
New York, USA
Solar Media Events
October 11, 2022
Virtual event