Where Sun Meets Water: Latest Global Development Trends Regarding Floating Solar and Research Updates from SERIS Floating PV Testbed in Singapore
The interest in floating photovoltaic power plants (FPV) has grown rapidly in recent years. In many established and emerging markets, such as Japan, South Korea, UK, the People's Republic of China, and India, FPV is already considered as an attractive and viable option. In Southeast Asia, FPV can unlock huge additional capacity in the many existing hydropower plants. However, FPV is relatively new and there is a lack of long-term experience. Reliability and durability is a critical issue that needs to be addressed. This is important for lowering the overall LCOE of FPV, as only a stable operation throughout its lifetime can minimize risks and guarantee the return of investment.
In 2016, Singapore launched the world’s largest FPV testbed, with a total capacity of 1 MWp. This testbed aims to study the economic and technical feasibility, as well as the environmental impacts of deploying FPV systems on inland freshwater reservoirs. SERIS has accumulated around two years of rich learning from the deployment, operation & maintenance, as well as the extensive data collected from the testbed. This presentation discussed the current FPV market status and growth potential, the advantages and challenges of FPV, mainstream technologies and suppliers involving FPV, and various issues encountered in the testbed and possible solutions for reliable operation.