New floating solar plant

Company News    Aug 23, 2021 5:37 PM

The country will have a new solar plant on a water mirror, which will begin its assembly in a matter of days.

The ‘Aquasol’ project is a floating photovoltaic complex, which will be developed at the Urrá I Hydroelectric Power Plant (CHU-I), located in the department of Córdoba, Portafolio reported.

The company URRÁ and the Sol & Agua Temporary Union won the contract for the Design, Detailed Engineering, Supply, Construction, Assembly, Testing, Commissioning, Operation and Maintenance of this project.

“The floating solar photovoltaic project ‘Aquasol’ is the first in the country, with an installed capacity of 1.5MW, which will be connected to the powerhouse and will feed part of the CHU-I’s own consumption, which is expected to start operating in August 2022,” URRÁ’s Rafael Piedrahíta de León said.

The expert added that the hydroelectric plant is working on diversifying its power generation matrix, and is betting on clean and renewable energies to move towards a sustainable, safe and competitive business model.

“Solar photovoltaic generation is one of the company’s focuses,” De León said.

He explained that floating panel systems have an energy performance of more than 10% to 15%, compared to traditional systems such as onshore solar farms or photovoltaic roofs. This is thanks to their proximity to the water, which allows them to be better cooled and leverage the greater radiation reflected by the water with respect to the land, De León explained.

“There is high efficiency because the temperature is lower and the panels work better, as they heat up less, so heat losses are lower. Additionally, the project would have easy access to the connection point,” the CHU-I president added, going on to say that “This pilot project will allow us to evaluate the possibility of building a larger initiative and generating capacity.”

The company will use 5,600 solar panels in the assembly of the project, which will be supported by a floating structure.

Bottom-Line: Solar energy is positioning itself as the main source of unconventional renewable energy in the country, thanks to Colombia’s enormous potential in this area.

The government will no doubt accompany the development of this pilot project, as it will likely be the first of many new floating solar plants in Colombia.

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