Renewable energy giant Statkraft to test floating solar with new plant

Key Points
  • The solar park in Albania will be made up of four 0.5 megawatt units.
  • Investment in the project will amount to $2.59 million.
Jianfeng Gu | EyeEm | Getty Images

Norway's Statkraft, one of Europe's largest producers of renewable energy, is pressing ahead with plans to build its first ever floating solar facility.

Its Albanian unit has chosen a Norwegian company, Ocean Sun, to provide it with a floating solar plant in a reservoir in the European country. Ocean Sun was set up in 2016 and specializes in floating-solar technology.

The solar park in Albania will be made up of four 0.5 megawatt (MW) units, Statkraft said in an announcement Tuesday. Investment in the project will amount to 2.3 million euros ($2.59 million).

"Testing new technology for floating solar power panels fits very well with Statkraft's strategy to grow our renewable energy generation from hydro, wind and solar," Christian Rynning-Tonnesen, Statkraft's CEO, said in a statement.

"If the technology is proven successful and the potential for cost-competitiveness can be achieved, a wider application of floating solar may take place in other Statkraft locations," he added.

In October 2018, a report from the World Bank Group and the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore stated that the worldwide capacity of floating solar had increased from 10 MW at the end of 2014 to 1.1 gigawatts (GW) by September 2018.

The report went on to state that capacity could potentially reach 400 GW worldwide, although no time frame was provided.

Statkraft said that its floating solar plant would be built during 2019 and 2020, subject to final regulatory approvals. A world leader in hydropower, Statkraft describes itself as "Europe's largest generator of renewable energy." Owned by the Norwegian state, it employs 3,600 people across 15 countries.