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Albania’s first floating PV project now under construction

  |   Solar, solar industry

Norway’s Statkraft is building a 2 MW floating PV array, first announced a year and a half ago, at its 72 MW hydropower plant in Albania’s Elbasan region. Norwegian floating PV specialist Ocean Sun has agreed to supply tech for the €2 million plant.

Norway’s Statkraft has started working on a 2 MW floating PV project, first announced in January 2019, at the Banja hydropower reservoir in Albania.

It is developing the €2 million plant in partnership with Norwegian floating PV specialist Ocean Sun. The project is being built at a reservoir linked to its Banja HPP 72 MW hydropower plant.

“Now that all regulatory approvals are in place, we have issued a notice to proceed to Ocean Sun for implementing the first phase of the project,” said Tom Kristian Larsen, Statkraft’s head adviser of IP strategy and asset management.

The company told pv magazine that the initial proposal was submitted by special purpose vehicle Statkraft Renewables Albania to the Albanian Ministry of Energy and Industry in mid-December 2018. Its first 500 kW phase will be finalized by the end of this year, while the second 1.5 MW stage will be completed in 2021, the company said.

The plant will likely sell power to the grid under a regulated tariff. PV projects up to 2 MW in size capacity are eligible for a feed-in tariff under Albanian regulations. However, it is unclear under which criteria the ministry is approving projects.

In a recent interview with pv magazine, Ocean Sun CEO Borge Bjorneklett described his company’s innovative design for floating PV projects in near-shore locations and semi-sheltered waters. Its patented system consists of a floating buoyancy ring anchored to the seabed, with four mooring points and 12 lines.