Israel's Solaris Synergy is one of the companies to see a future in floating solar panels, Green Economy reports.
Such panels would float on agricultural and mining ponds, hydroelectric reservoirs and canals, and similar locations.
In addition to being an efficient use of space, floating solar panels have other economic benefits attached. First, they minimize the use of steel, which is the main cost in the production of land-based panels. Second, the water's cooling effect can increase electricity production over typical ground-mounted systems. And third, a solar system floating on water also reduces water evaporation 70%, while inhibiting destructive algae growth by blocking sunlight on the water.
Solaris engineers say such systems can produce up to 2 MW of electricity per mile.
Solaris has installed its first live floating concentrated photovoltaic (F-CPV) system connected to the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) grid. The system is based at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies' Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation located on Kibbutz Ketura, 30 kilometers north of Eilat.
The project is part of Capital Nature Experimentum, a verification and inspection center for new technologies developed by renewable energy companies.
"This installation is a milestone for us," Solaris Synery CEO Yossi Fisher said. "We're confident that it's just the first of many future Solaris implementations in Israel and throughout the world."
Solaris Synergy also plans to float a solar array on a reservoir in the south of France in a trial with French utility EDF.