The Beijing-based Three Gorges New Energy Corporation has invested a billion yuan ($151 million) into constructing the world’s biggest floating solar power project. The plant is being built in the eastern Chinese province of Anhui.
Construction of the 150 megawatt (MW) power station started in July with a part already connected to the grid, according to the company. The new power plant features solar panels inserted into floats that are fixed on the surface of a lake that formed after a coal mine collapsed.
The entire facility is scheduled to be ready by May 2018. When complete, 150 MW station will be the equivalent of using about 53,000 tons of coal. According to the corporation, nearly 199,500 tons of carbon dioxide emissions will be cut every year.
China has been leading the clean energy industry since the US withdrew from the Paris Agreement earlier this year, according to Yang Fuqiang, senior advisor on climate and energy at the Natural Resources Defense Council, as quoted by the Chinese daily Global Times.
The previous largest floating project of 40 MW was constructed by Asia’s largest inverter manufacturer Sungrow, also in the Anhui Province. Chinese company CECEC is also building a 70MW project in the same region.
Floating solar power projects have been significantly expanded in China with ground-mounted projects not used to full capacity due to grid congestion. According to the National Energy Administration, some 5.6 percent of solar power generation was idle in the first three quarters of this year.
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