New Zealand: the country's largest floating solar power plant

New Zealand: the country’s largest floating solar power plant

In New Zealand, Vector Powersmart has just completed construction of the country’s largest solar power plant. This one has a power of only 1 mW but has the peculiarity of buoyancy. Show.

2700 floating solar panels

The photovoltaic plant completed by Vector Powersmart spans approximately one hectare in the Rosedale wastewater treatment basin in Auckland (Northern New Zealand). It is made up of 2,700 solar panels stacked on top of nearly 4,000 floating birds. The installation was built in just 4 months and was attached to the bottom by about 60 concrete anchors, each weighing about 2.5 tons.

According to the operator’s forecast, this floating solar power plant should be able to produce approximately 1,486 megawatt-hours per year (corresponding to a load factor of approximately 17%), which is equivalent to about a quarter of the electricity needs from wastewater treatment Watercare-operated plant (or the average annual electricity consumption of 200 homes in New Zealand according to the authorities).

It should be noted that the electricity produced by this installation should be more specifically intended for “ Pumping and aeration tasks that help natural bacteria break down waste in the treatment process According to Watercare, nearly all of Rosedale’s other energy needs are met biogasa co-product of the wastewater treatment process(1). The cost of the floating solar power plant will be amortized over its expected life (25 to 30 years), the project’s promoters are reassured.

Approximately 10% of national electricity production in 2050?

Floating solar installations like the one in Rosedale popular abroad But this is the first time in New Zealand, it welcomes Auckland Mayor Phil Goff. According to him, the new plant should reduce 145 tons of carbon dioxide2 Domestic greenhouse gas emissions annually.

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Solar energy is currently very underdeveloped in New Zealand, with this country having much less land area and less favorable sunshine conditions than its Australian neighbour. However, a growing number of PV projects are under development in the country: Rosedale’s floating installation must also relinquish its place as New Zealand’s largest solar plant to another 1.6MW site in the process of being built on the rooftop of a supermarket near Auckland Airport (to be Another 10MW solar project developed by Vector Powersmart(2)).

As forecast by network operator Transpower(3)solar could account for 9.3% of New Zealand’s electricity production in 2050 (compared to about 0.2% in 2020), making it the fourth renewable sector producing electricity after hydropower (24.8% in 2050 according to Transpower forecasts), and wind ( 19.6%) and geothermal energy (12.5%).

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