The city of Cape Town installed a floating power generation system on one of its sewer dams to test the efficiency of solar parks that prevent water from evaporating while generating clean energy.
The city became the first municipality in South Africa, which owns a floating power plant, after the floating solar photovoltaic pilot plant was opened at the Kraaifontein sewage treatment plant on Wednesday. It will help the city determine the evaporation savings and power generation performance of floating solar parks.
The city hopes the project will help it pave the way to a more sustainable city as it will provide an overall generation of renewable 300 MW of energy from municipal and private power generation.
The city said on Wednesday that it will have 50 MW of renewable energy generation by 2030 and will be carbon neutral by 2050.
The floating solar farm is part of a research study in which Floating Solar (Pty) Ltd, the Water Research Commission and the University of Cape Town are involved.
According to the city, data from sensors is collected over a year in order to possibly inform about the planning of larger floating PV projects in the next few years through competitive tendering procedures.
The park comprises a floating solar module system as well as a floor-mounted solar module system, To determine the evaporation savings and relative energy production per development of floating photovoltaic technology.
Phindile Maxiti, member of Cape Town’s Committee of Mayors on Energy and Climate Change, said the 50 MW of renewable energy will power the city by 2030 The city hopes to be able to build on bodies of water due to the prohibitively high land prices in the city and to counteract water loss in the drought-prone city.
“The city has struggled to get off their feet, relying on Eskom and diversifying the energy mix in order to get cleaner, more affordable and safer electricity for all, “she said.
” Given that undeveloped land In the city very expensive and solar PV systems on the roof are relatively small, Cape Town wants to diversify the energy as part of its pioneering work mixes, setting a good example and taking a leadership role in climate protection, researching floating solar PV systems for larger solar PV systems, ”said Maxiti.
“ Generating clean electricity and reducing evaporation rates from water bodies would be a big one-two for sustainability. This type of project is a tangible example of how we can build a more sustainable city of the future and how the green economy can be used for the sustainable and inclusive economic recovery that we need especially after Covid-19, “she said.
Floating Solar spokesman Peter Varndell said that “Floating Solar” has become the “third pillar” of the PV industry worldwide.
“By following this trend, we have within SA significant potential for this identified promising technology that has the double advantage of generating electricity while reducing evaporation and preserving land for other commercial uses, “he said.
” From the start we have more than 60 projects with high potential identified – with a combined capacity of more than 450 MW – that is well suited to benefit from the development of floating solar, ”he said.
He said it was an important target market about 1. 000 water treatment plants in the municipalities of SA, which in his opinion are well suited for floating solar systems due to the substantial and limited land and water evaporation savings available on site, which requires a sustainable energy source, as well as the possibility of feeding additional electricity into the grid .
“We are very excited that Cape Town has this pilot project to explore this potential,” he said.