550 MW Solar Plant Comes up On Tidal Land In China

Highlights :

  • The pressures of keeping costs low and staying close to transmission infra is sending solar to newer places, and a plant on tidal land is a rarity still.
  • As the global leader in Solar by a distance, expect many such innovations from China, not all of which will succeed obviously

On December 16, 2021, as the Wenzhou Taihan 550MW aquaculture-PV complementary Solar Plant built in tidal land joined the grid, increasing the installed capacity of clean energy power generation in the local power grid by about 26%. The plant, probably the biggest of its kind in Asia has Astronergy/CHINT Solar behind it as the investor/builders. Expected to generate 650 million KWh annually, the plant will be studied carefully for its ability to survive the marine environment.

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The plant adopted 1.396 million pcs CHINT ASTRO 450Wp mono-Si PV modules, covering an area of about 4.7km2. To make the whole project work, it took a number of innovations from the team at CHINT to make it happen.

With the plant being used alongside aquaculture farming, its relevance and the experience with running it will be invaluable for CHINT, should the overall experience be positive, as it will open up many such opportunities for the firm. CHINT has been involved with the cabling, O&M and all related work on the plant.

Solar plants on tidal flats have proper moorings unlike floating solar plants, and every single part, including the encapsulant in panels and placement of inverters, needs special care to survive the harsh marine environment. The structures also need extra protection across the high salt air and water, and when the plant is supposed to co-exist with another activity like aquaculture in this case, the challenge is even bigger.

While the firm involved has not shared any details on the pricing impact, experts at various times have ventured that prices for such plants could be 25-30% higher than normal ground mounted plants, and even long term life may not be an easy guarantee for the typical 25 year tenure.

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