Wastewater plant to run on floating solar power
Recom Technologies and Derex have developed the first floating solar power station in Latvia.
With a capacity of 2.1 MW, the floating station is situated on the water’s surface using floating pontoons and will provide the necessary energy for the full operation of the wastewater treatment plant ‘Sloka’ in Jurmala.
The solar modules used in the power station – RECOM Panther 550Wp Half Cut mono bifacial double glass frameless solar modules – are said to be designed to produce no less than 87.20% of their nominal power in the 25th year from the warranty start date surpassing industry’s average for Half Cut technology, thus securing high return on investment.
The ‘Sloka’ WWTP consumes 40% of the total energy expenses of ‘Jūrmalas ūdens’, the utility operating the wastewater plant.
The installation of the solar station will enable ‘Sloka’ to generate its own energy, effectively lowering the electricity costs of ‘Jūrmalas ūdens’ and reducing the organization’s reliance on fluctuations in energy market rates.
The project aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 231,657 tonnes per year, which will decrease the region’s carbon footprint and help preserve its resources in the long term, maintaining ecological balance.
Over the guaranteed 30-year service life, the floating solar station will be able to operate continuously in the harsh local environment, Recom said. Thanks to specially designed solutions, the system is said to be resistant to salt, fog, snow, and ice — typical precipitation in the Latvian climate — as well as to the effects of ammonia and hydrogen sulfide on the station’s materials and equipment.
“Floating stations have not gained significant popularity in Latvia and the Baltic region yet, although this is the safest option for the fragile ecosystems typical of the region. The ‘islands’ on the water protect the surface from excessive sunlight, preventing the growth of underwater vegetation and preserving the balance and purity of the water ecosystem,” said Yulia Nikulina, Project Manager and Director of the DEREX green energy division.
“Furthermore, the water environment is optimal for the panels themselves, as the natural cooling effect of the water helps the station maintain a stable temperature. Even higher station performance is achieved by bifacial (two-sided) panels, which absorb the reflection of the sun from the surface of the water.”
The project includes 3,820 frameless RECOM Panther Half Cut bifacial double glass modules, each with a power output of 550 Wp. They are installed on the ‘island’ at a 12° angle to optimize sunlight collection.