New floating solar handbook published by World Bank’s ESMAP with SERIS

The Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (SERIS) at the National University of Singapore (NUS), together with the World Bank Group and the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) have prepared and published another comprehensive report on floating solar, the “Floating Solar Handbook for Practitioners”.

This Handbook is part of a series of reports supported by the World Bank Group on floating solar – titled “Where Sun Meets Water”. An Executive Summary was published in October 2018, followed by the full Market Report in June 2019. The Handbook for Practitioners was launched on 31st October 2019 during the 3rd International Floating Solar Symposium (IFSS) in Singapore.

IFSS, organised as a part of the Asia Clean Energy Summit (ACES) and the Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW), has emerged as the leading platform for industry and research institutions to discuss issues and share best practices in this nascent but fast growing industry.

The newly released “Floating Solar Handbook for Practitioners” is now available for download from:

* ESMAP website:
http://esmap.org/where_sun_meets_water_handbook

* SERIS website:
http://www.seris.nus.edu.sg/doc/publications/ESMAP_FloatingSolar_Gde_A4%20WEBL-REV2.pdf

Floating solar photovoltaic (FPV) installations reached 1.3 gigawatt-peak (GWp) of total installed capacity at the end of 2018, and deployment appears likely to accelerate as the technologies mature, opening up a new frontier in the global expansion of renewable energy. Although FPV technology is considered commercially viable given the number of large-scale projects that have been implemented, challenges to its deployment remain. They include the lack of a robust track record; uncertainty about costs; uncertainty about the environmental impact; and the technical complexity of designing, building and operating on and in water (especially electrical safety, anchoring and mooring issues, and operations and maintenance, O&M).

This Handbook aims to provide developers, utilities, contractors, investors, regulators, and decision-makers with practical guidelines on developing FPV projects. Many activities necessary for the development of an FPV project are quite similar to those for ground-mounted PV projects. However, this report focuses on aspects of the development process that are unique or particularly important to FPV projects, within each project development stage such as site identification, energy yield assessment, engineering design, procurement and construction, testing, commissioning, and O&M. Furthermore, it focuses on environmental and social aspects related to developing and operating FPV projects, and on important commercial and legal aspects such as permitting, illustrated by a few landmark country case studies.

Most of the observations and recommendations in the Handbook are made for inland water bodies, but they are also relevant for near-shore coastal FPV installations. The Handbook incorporates learning and inputs from various stakeholders in the industry, and also includes real-world experiences from the 1-megawatt-peak (MWp) floating solar testbed operated by SERIS in the Tengeh Reservoir in Singapore since 2016.

Dr Thomas Reindl, Deputy CEO and Cluster Director Solar Energy Systems at SERIS, said, “An active dialogue among all stakeholders, public and private, is required to advance the global understanding of FPV technologies and the development of well-designed projects while minimizing possible negative environmental and social impacts. Through this Handbook, SERIS along with the World Bank Group and ESMAP hope to contribute to this goal and to disseminate lessons learned from early projects.”

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Media Contact
Tan Mui Koon
[email protected]
http://www.seris.nus.edu.sg/doc/events-and-news/SERIS%20press%20release_World%20Bank%20Floating%20Solar%20Handbook%20for%20Practitioners%2007Nov19.pdf

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