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Ciel & Terre’s Technical Achievement in China: CECEP 70 MWp Floating PV Complex

Year 2019 is promising for Ciel & Terre. Late 2018, the company has seen the completion of its 70 MWp floating solar plant in the province of Anhui, China, which was officially accepted this month following tests and monitoring. Located on a former coal-mining area, in Yongqiao district, Suzhou city, the floating PV array will mainly aim to improve the energy structure in the province and the quality of the environment on-site. Constructor China Energy Conservation Solar Technology Co., Ltd., and the EPC China Energy Engineering Group Shanxi Electric Power Design Institute Co., Ltd., contributed to build the biggest floating solar plant supplied by Ciel & Terre.

©Ciel & Terre International – Hydrelio® floating PV system

COMPLETION OF THE FLOATING SOLAR COMPLEX

The 70 MWp floating photovoltaic power generation project in Zhuxianzhuang, Suzhou, has been connected to the national grid. To do so, a brand new 18-kilometer-long 110 V overhead line is built to optimize the transport of electricity for this tremendous project made of 13 islets.

Behind the installation of this complex is the will to improve the energy structure of Anhui Province as well as the ecological environment quality of the Lianghuai mining subsidence area. In the meantime, the initiative enables to promote the development of the “floatovoltaic” technology, which also preserves water bodies. It prevents them from algae proliferation and oxidation, and even conserves water sources by reducing evaporation.

CECEP FLOATING SOLAR PROJECT: ONE MORE STEP FOR CIEL & TERRE ON ITS SCALING-UP

The floating solar plant constructed on a former coal-mining and flood area is Ciel & Terre’s biggest project so far: the system covers an area of 1.4 square kilometer (140 ha). The whole facility in Anhui is currently the largest floating photovoltaic power station in the world. The plant is expected to generate up to 77,693 MWh in its first year, which represents the electricity consumption of some 20,910 households. Within 25 years, the solar farm should generate around 1.94 million of MWh. This project completes another project supplied by Ciel & Terre in Anhui province, the 32 MWp GCL floating PV plant.

Headed by CECEP Chinese RE developers, the complex was built using the tried-and-tested Hydrelio® technology designed by Ciel & Terre. CECEP chose Ciel & Terre for this major project for 3 complementary main reasons: the 13-year experience of the company in the field, the broad portfolio of 140 projects worldwide and the characteristic reliability and bankability of the Hydrelio® system. Those assets make Ciel & Terre one of the reference actor of the global floating solar industry. Through this front-runner technical system, the company contributes to the Chinese National Energy Agency’s (CNEA) aim to “bolster energy infrastructure and environmental quality”. All the more as floats are locally produced to minimize the carbon footprint, to optimize the transport costs and promote local employment.

A TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT

The plant completion is a technical achievement considering its size, the capacity of production let alone the features of the site. Central inverters integrating medium voltage transformers have been used, and the peculiarity is that they stand on the water and not on the banks ; concrete poles support this electrical installation. Such inverters’ setup enables to avoid energy losses. With regard to the anchorage, the system was designed and installed under the supervision of Ciel & Terre China, a subsidiary of the French company Ciel & Terre. Overall 1,500 helical anchors were used for the project and buried from 8 to 15 meter-depth to fit the configuration of the site. CECEP floating PV project is another accomplishment enriching the flourishing group’s experience and confirms their ambition as leader for the future of the floating solar market.

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