Floating solar power project geared for expansion

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    Results of an initial pre-feasibility study of SN Aboitiz Power’s (SNAP) first 200 kilowatts (kw) floating solar power project in Magat dam in Isabela show the possibility a significant expansion of the project.

    “We are now conducting a feasibility study to validate the initial results and confirm the viability of a commercial-scale project which may have a capacity of 67 megawatts (MW) or higher to be placed also on the Magat reservoir,” said Joseph Yu, SNAP president and chief executive officer.

    Yu said the feasibility study will run for 10 to 12 months.

    The cost is yet to be determined but the first 200 kw project required a little over $400,000 (P24 million) investment.

    This project can withstand up to 270 kilometers per hour of wind and currently supplies the electricity requirements of SNAP’s offices in Isabela.

    According to SNAP, floating solar projects are capable of safeguarding water levels in dams and reservoirs by reducing evaporation which is critical during times of drought and El Niño apart from its ability to provide shade and inhibit the growth of harmful algae while providing sanctuary for marine life that cannot survive in very hot temperatures.

    The cost of land-based solar projects is lower since the structures are stationary compared to floating solar projects which should be supported by a facility that can easily adjust and float depending on the level of water.