French energy giant EDF has hired a German-based company BELECTRIC to build a 19.3MWp floating solar power plant in Israel.

Illustration (Courtesy of BELECTRIC)
Illustration (Courtesy of BELECTRIC)

BELECTRIC’s Israeli subsidiary, BELECTRIC Israel, will carry out the engineering, construction and commissioning work for the 19.3MW plant.

Said to be one of the largest plants of its kind in Israel, it is located in northern Israel on a water reservoir for fish farming pools near the Kibbutz Lohamei HaGeta’ot.

Construction works are expected to start in early summer with commissioning planned to be reached by end of 2021, according to BELECTRIC, which will also take on the operation and maintenance (O&M) of the floating solar project.

Ingo Alphéus, CEO of BELECTRIC Solar & Battery, said: “Floating photovoltaic (PV) installations open up new opportunities for solar, especially in countries with high population density and competing uses for available land. After our successful entry into this fast-growing market last year, we are pleased to have been awarded this benchmark project”.

Each of the more than 47,700 PV modules will be individually mounted on a floating platform and connected to a rapid shut down device to increase electrical safety whilst operating the fishing ponds during the O&M phase, BELECTRIC said.

The PV system will be connected to the mainland via floating marine grade power lines. The floating platform itself will held in place by an anchoring and mooring system with direct rammed piers as well as under water concrete blocks.

The anchoring system was especially designed by BELECTRIC, the company noted..

Avner Arad, deputy CEO of EDF Renewable Israel, said: “This project, a first of many to come, allows us, in cooperation with BELECTRIC to implement many new technologies, design concepts and construction methods. This will allow us to improve Floating PV competitiveness, which with its other benefits, has the potential to drastically expand Israel’s renewable energy landscape”.

Anna Velikansky, managing director of BELECTRIC Israel, added: “This is already our second floating PV project we are realizing for customers in Israel. The greatest advantage of floating solar is that it reduces land utilization and site preparation issues associated with traditional solar installations. An additional benefit is that the water cools the panels naturally, which should increase their efficiency”.

Through its subsidiary BELECTRIC Israel, the company has already realized 34 solar projects in the country with a total capacity of around 500MW.

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