Floating solar industry partners for world’s first verified practice

DNV GL has launched a joint industry project with 14 stakeholders within the floating solar PV sector to develop the first recommended practice for floating solar power projects.

The recommended broad-based best practices guide, created by the Floating Solar joint industry project (JIP), is expected to be ready by the first quarter of 2021. However, a draft guidance document is expected to be ready by the end of 2020.

This practice will be based on a list of technical requirements for developing safe, reliable and sustainable floating solar projects.

Since the deployment of the world’s first floating PV project in 2006, the industry has expanded slowly. Only 10 MW of floating PV capacity had been deployed by 2015. However, adoption has increased through 2019, with capacity reaching 3GW. It is estimated that the total global potential capacity for deploying floating PV on manmade, inland waters alone could be as high as 4 TW.

Several companies that operate hydroelectric power plants are considering installation of floating solar in their reservoirs, including ANDE’s proposed pilot project at its 200-MW Acaray hydro plant. In addition, Da Nhim—Ham Thuan—Da Mi Hydro Power Joint Stock Company (DHD) announced plans last year to install a 47.5-MW peak floating photovoltaic (PV) solar facility on the man-made reservoir of its 175-MW Da Mi hydropower plant.

The International Hydropower Association says that solar could double capacity at larger hydropower reservoirs and better manage water resources.

The lack of a globally recognized standard for solar remains a key barrier, hence the need for the establishment of the Floating Solar JIP consortium. Without a standard, it has been difficult for investors, regulators, and other stakeholders to have confidence in planned projects and to enforce relevant requirements, which could potentially put a brake on the technology’s growth, according to a statement.

The consortium will focus on five key topics:

  • Site conditions assessment
  • Energy yield forecast
  • Mooring and anchoring systems
  • Floating structures
  • Permitting and environmental impact

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