The 13 connected islets make up the plant: 140 hectares built on an artificial lake of a former coal mine.
The largest floating photovoltaic system in the world is ready to go into operation : the state company CECEP has just finished connecting the 13 islands that make up the system for a total of 140 hectares of floating photovoltaic modules. In the first year of operation, the plant is expected to produce 77,693 MWh.
The project is the result of collaboration between Chinese state-owned companies and French manufacturer Ciel & Terre, specialized in floating photovoltaics: the plant is located on a site that was previously used for coal mining, in Anhui province.
The installation was completed in 2018, but connections to the electricity grid, with a new 18 km long 110V overhead line, were not made until March 2019.
With a capacity of 70 MW, the plant should be able to satisfy the energy needs of some 21 thousand homes.
The floating modules produced by Ciel & Terre ( Hydrelio ) have been manufactured directly on site, in order to minimize emissions, reduce transport costs and guarantee employment in the region.
The central inverters were also placed on stilts along the shore of the artificial lake in which the coal quarry was located, so as not to interfere with agricultural activities in the area.
The record of the new Chinese plant is destined to have a short life: in the same region, in fact, in the Yongqiao district, near the city of Suzhou, the Three Gorges New Energy company is finishing the construction of another photovoltaic plant 150 MW float.
Both projects are part of a broader Chinese program for the installation of floating photovoltaic systems with a total capacity of 1 GW: all new plants will be built in deposits of old mining operations to take advantage of existing connections to the electricity grid.