Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

The first phase of the Three Gorges floating solar power plant in China is now online. The 150 megawatt installation is expected to be completed by May of 2018.

Clean Power

China Powers Up World’s Largest Floating Solar Power Plant

The first phase of the Three Gorges floating solar power plant in China is now online. The 150 megawatt installation is expected to be completed by May of 2018.

Irony rocks! Years ago, a coal mine in eastern China collapsed, leaving an enormous hole in the ground that subsequently filled with water. Known as the Three Gorges area, it is now the site of the world’s largest floating solar power plant. When completed in May of 2018, the $151 million installation will generate 150 megawatts of electrical power.

Credit: Three Gorges GroupThe new solar power plant will be operated by the Three Gorges Group, an instrument of the Chinese government. Its chairman, Lu Chun, says floating solar is an opportunity to drive down the cost of solar power. Instead of installing permanent racking systems that have to mounted in the ground, the solar panels for this latest project will be attached to floats, a process that is faster, simpler, and cheaper.

The Three Gorges Group announced on December 10th that the first phase of the enormous project has now been completed and connected to the local electrical grid. The solar power will also be used to invigorate commercial fishing in the local area, bringing more economic benefits to the area.

Up to this point, the largest floating solar installation in China was a 40 megawatt facility constructed in the same province by Sungrow Power Supply, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Floating solar is enjoying a surge in interest in China, as solar power farms in remote areas like the Gobi Desert suffer because they cannot send all their available power to market due to restrictions in the electrical grid. Nearly 6% of solar power generated within China was not put to productive use in the first three quarters of this year due to grid congestion, according to China’s National Energy Administration.

Solar panels and water enjoy a symbiotic relationship. The panels help to conserve precious freshwater supplies by lowering the amount of evaporation into the surrounding atmosphere. In return, the water keeps ambient temperatures around the solar panels lower, which helps boost their efficiency and limit long-term heat-induced degradation.

While the US dithers with schemes to prop up coal and nuclear power with taxpayer money, China is out front, leading the way to a zero emissions future. Only one approach will be successful in the long term.

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Electrifying Industrial Heat for Steel, Cement, & More

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...
If you like what we do and want to support us, please chip in a bit monthly via PayPal or Patreon to help our team do what we do! Thank you!
Written By

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new."


You May Also Like

Clean Power

According to the latest Rethink Energy report, “global solar installations are on track for 222 GW of installations during 2022, and manufacturing output shows...

Clean Power

Researchers in Singapore are exploring whether a hybrid renewable energy system in the waters offshore is a possibility.


Welcome to China × Cleantech — May 2021 edition. Our China x Cleantech series covers top cleantech stories in China each month. EV Sales 10% Plugin...

Clean Power

This year is the start of another key period in China’s development of its solar PV market, IHS Markit reports. 2021 is the first year...

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.