Tag Archive for: floatovoltaics

The installation is the largest floating solar power plant in the US Southeast located in Fort Bragg, North Carolina

Floating solar had a moment in the spotlight over the weekend when the US Army unveiled a new solar plant sitting atop the Big Muddy Lake at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. It’s the first floating solar array deployed by the Department of Defense, and it’s part of a growing current of support in the US for “floatovoltaics.”

The army says its goal is to boost clean energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and give the nearby training facility a source of backup energy during power outages. The panels will be able to generate about one megawatt of electricity, which can typically power about 190 homes.

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Source: The Verge

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Covering 10% of the world’s hydropower reservoirs with ‘floatovoltaics’ would install as much electrical capacity as is currently available for fossil-fuel power plants.

Solar panels need to be deployed over vast areas worldwide to decarbonize electricity. By 2050, the United States might need up to 61,000 square kilometres of solar panels — an area larger than the Netherlands1. Land-scarce nations such as Japan and South Korea might have to devote 5% of their land to solar farms2.

The question of where to put these panels isn’t trivial. There is fierce competition for land that is also needed for food production and biodiversity conservation. One emerging solution is to deploy floating solar panels (‘floatovoltaics’) on reservoirs.

The idea of floatovoltaics holds much promise, and there has been a rapid rise in installation and investments. But there are still many unknowns about the technology’s environmental impacts, along with its social, technical and economic dimensions.

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Source: Nature

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