Floating PV paired with hydroelectric dams to cover peak load
A research team from Pakistan has modeled the addition of a floating PV array to an existing dam project to increase the availability of power during peak load hours.
Researchers from the Lahore University of Management Sciences in Pakistan have examined the potential to deploy floating PV on a bodyof water connected to one of the country’s hydroelectric dams.
They published their findings in “Complementing hydroelectric power with floating solar PV for daytime peak electricity demand,” which was recently published in Renewable Energy.
Pakistan covers around 30% of its power demand with hydroelectric dams. Some of these facilities are of considerable size, like the Tarbela Dam, which reportedly has 3.5 GW of generating capacity. The University of Lahore scientists modeled the implementation of a floating array at the 1.45 GW Ghazi Barotha Dam, which features five generating units with around 290 MW of capacity each.
To cover daytime peak loads, installing a 200 MW floating system on the dam’s reservoir could replace one of the five generating units if water levels are low. The researchers noted that Pakistan suffers frequent outages due to peak load hours during the day. The floating solar plant would work like a peaker plant, they said.
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