Banja floating solar plant in Albania (Courtesy of Statkraft)

Statkraft’s upgraded 2MWp floating solar plant starts commercial operation

The 2MWp floating solar plant in Albania, developed by Europe’s largest renewable energy generator Statkraft, has started producing renewable energy and injecting it to the Albanian electricity grid following the installation of three new floaters.

Banja floating solar plant in Albania (Courtesy of Statkraft)
Banja floating solar plant in Albania (Courtesy of Statkraft)
Banja floating solar plant in Albania (Courtesy of Statkraft)

The floating solar plant is located at the Banja reservoir in Albania, where Statkraft is operating its 72MW Banja hydropower plant.

The plant is comprised of four individual floating units, each with a surface area of approximately 4,000 m2 and equipped with more than 1,500 solar panels.

The floating solar technology is developed by the Norwegian company Ocean Sun and was implemented with an Albanian company, Doko. Originally, a single 500kW unit was installed at the reservoir in 2021, followed by three more units of the same capacity added in late 2022.

The planned annual generation from all of the four floaters is expected to reach approximately 2.6 GWh.

In addition to generating renewable energy, this R&D project will also serve as a learning base to properly assess the potential benefits of this technology, according to Statkraft.

Statkraft’s SVP for Europe, Simen Bræin, said: “Statkraft strongly believes that the future of energy will be based on renewables. We have completed the implementation phase of the Banja Floating Solar Project, an innovative R&D project that can contribute to the further development of renewables.

“Based on the Albania’s renewable energy potential, we believe that the country can play a key role as a renewable energy hub in the region.”

Rigela Gegprifti, Statkraft’s country head in Albania, added: “The completion of the implementation phase of this R&D project marks another achievement for Statkraft in Albania. This project has been implemented in close cooperation with the Albanian authorities.

“With our Banja and Moglice hydropower plants in Albania we are the largest private investor in renewable energy in the country and are currently looking into further optimizing these renewable assets.”

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