The world’s highest solar power plant plus battery storage facility is now operational in Tibet. Developed by PV manufacture Jetion Solar, the 40 MW/193 MWh facility is located in Tibet 4,700 meters (15,400 feet) above sea level. It receives more than 3,2oo hours of sunlight a year according to PV Magazine. Dynavolt Energy Technology owns the facility and supplied the LFP storage batteries for the project.
“Based on the characteristics of local electricity load and the particularity of the Tibet power grid, the project was designed as a full energy storage allocation project,” says Jetion. “The solar arrays will charge the storage during the day and the storage will fully power the grid during the night.”
The energy storage system will serve as a proof of concept demonstration for the role solar plus storage can play for the Tibetan energy grid, including peak shaving and frequency modulation while providing dispatchable electricity to communities in the local area of Xigaze. “At the same time, this project will also make positive contributions to Xigaze’s industrial development, fiscal [performance] and taxation, labor employment and targeted poverty alleviation, and promote the development of Xigaze’s surrounding industries, such as agriculture and mining,” says Jetion.
Floating Solar In North Carolina
Half a world away, Duke Energy is about to embark on the construction of a 1.1 MW floating solar power plant located at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. “As a leader in solar energy, we’re excited to bring this unique project to Fort Bragg,” said Melisa Johns, vice president for distributed energy solutions at Duke Energy. “This project takes a comprehensive look at the way energy is being used at Fort Bragg and will lead to more efficient energy use and significant cost savings.”
“We approached Duke Energy with the idea of a floating solar array unsure of how they would respond to the innovative concept,” said Audrey Oxendine, head of Fort Bragg Energy and Utilities. “Duke Energy was excited to take on the challenge and work with us to make an idea into reality.” The floating solar installation will be paired with 2 MWh of battery storage
Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimate that installing floating solar photovoltaics on the more than 24,000 man-made U.S. reservoirs could generate about 10 percent of the nation’s annual electricity production. Currently, floating solar makes up less than 2 percent of the world’s solar capacity. Duke Energy owns and operates 40 solar facilities in North Carolina including a 13 MW facility located at the Marine Corps’ Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
As solar power gets cheaper, it is already being used more widely throughout the world and challenging wind power as the renewable energy of choice for the future. After all, once a solar power plant is operational, the cost of fuel for the next 20 to 30 years will be virtually zero. What utility company wouldn’t want to take that deal?