Is the Cost Of Floating Solar Photovoltaic Systems High? 

Is the Cost Of Floating Solar Photovoltaic Systems High?

Is the cost of floating solar photovoltaic high? A new account can be calculated in detail-The question of photovoltaic integration

The floating solar photovoltaic system is hot.

In the first half of 2022, with the suspension of some floating photovoltaic projects that affect flood discharge by the Ministry of Water Resources, the strict investigation of land abandonment issues in agricultural and solar complementary projects in multiple provinces, the contradiction between supply and demand of photovoltaic land has become increasingly prominent. During the same period, Shandong Province arranged for 11.25 GW of floating solar photovoltaic projects in 2022. The Ministry of Science and Technology announced the inclusion of offshore floating photovoltaic power generation technology and key components in the 2022 Key Special Project Guidelines of the National Key R&D Plan. Since then, floating solar photovoltaic solutions has become a hot topic in mainstream media reports, securities industry analysis reports, official account articles, and industry summit forums. Baidu's search for floating solar photovoltaic terms has increased from more than 500 in the first five months of 2022 to more than 1300 in the three months from June to August. Especially in June 2022, the article titled "Overall Plan for a New Energy Offshore Photovoltaic Megawatt Sea Trial Array", which was first released globally attracted media attention and received over 10,000 views in three days.

Floating solar photovoltaic has the potential to become a new blue ocean in the downstream photovoltaic industry. The floating solar photovoltaic is terrifyingly expensive.

Whether the cost of kilowatt hours of electricity can support affordable grid access on the power generation side is a hard indicator for evaluating large-scale grid-connected photovoltaic projects. Floating solar photovoltaic is no exception. From the 2022 floating solar photovoltaic project bidding documents in Shandong Province, the total investment is expected to be approximately 67.5 billion yuan, which is equivalent to 6 yuan per watt. With the addition of 1 yuan per watt for provincial subsidies, the comprehensive cost budget is 5 yuan. According to the annual effective utilization hours of 1450 in Laizhou Bay and Peninsula South of Shandong Province, the internal rate of return on total investment is 6.53%, which meets the investment threshold of central enterprises. Big accounts make sense, but small accounts don't necessarily make sense.

Firstly, the subsidies provided by the finance of Shandong Province to the "14th Five Year Plan" floating solar photovoltaic projects completed and connected to the grid from 2022 to 2025 are 1 yuan, 0.8 yuan, 0.6 yuan, and 0.4 yuan per watt, with subsidy scales not exceeding 100MWp, 200MWp, 300MWp, and 400MWp, respectively. Obviously, it is ultimately necessary to rely on technological progress and management to tap the potential to reduce costs, increase efficiency, and achieve affordable internet access in the early stages of policy guidance and later stages of self-reliance.

Secondly, there are significant differences in geological conditions in the project area, and further sea exploration is needed to determine whether it is suitable for pile driving. From the current results of pile testing by several units, it can be seen that using PHC precast concrete pipe piles with a diameter of 600 millimeters and a length of 25 meters can ensure sufficient support reaction to cope with the 50-year return period wind load. The cost of pile foundation materials and construction costs far exceeded expectations.

Thirdly, the Laizhou Bay area still needs to solve the sea ice problem. After preliminary calculation, the bending resistance and allowable contact stress of prefabricated concrete pipe piles cannot resist ice thrust, and some areas need to be replaced with steel piles. This will further increase the cost of pile foundations.

Furthermore, if the anti-typhoon capability is considered one of the key points of load analysis, it is necessary to further strengthen the densely packed piles and steel support structures that complement inland fishing and lighting. The recent case of components being lifted off of land photovoltaic projects along the South China Sea coast after a typhoon passed is a case in point

In addition, the demobilization cost of large Floating solar pile-driving ships is much higher than that of inland construction scenarios. The increase in construction costs caused by weather factors resulted in Floating solar construction time being much shorter than that caused by land.

Looking at the detailed account, if we simply transplant the terrestrial photovoltaic scheme to the Floating solar scenario, the cost would be prohibitively expensive. Simple transplantation methods are not feasible, and system integration innovation is imperative.

A New Energy to Break the Deadlock

Guided by the cost of electricity per kilowatt hour, Yidao New Energy has conducted in-depth research on technical route planning, failure mode analysis, overall layout design, key material development, bill of quantities preparation and other links, and subdivided the floating solar photovoltaic scenarios into four categories: mudflat dimming flexible support+seawater rice scheme, intertidal amphibious floating scheme, platform resistant pile foundation flexible support scheme, and Floating solar floating photovoltaic scheme, and conduct technical research, product development, and solution innovation separately.

Taking the two scenarios of Laizhou Bay and Peninsula South in Shandong Province as examples, the total investment returns of the first three types of schemes can reach 7.67%, 7.8%, and 7.2%, respectively. Although the current cost of wind and solar co-field offshore floating photovoltaic is relatively high, it is expected that the EPC cost for large-scale applications can be controlled below 5 yuan through the introduction of ultra-high performance lightweight floating bodies, the configuration of maintenance-free lightweight components, innovative design of "rigid flexible combination, wave fluctuation" configuration, and further integration with floating solar wind power.

Why is it a new energy?

In July of 2022, a new energy company organized the global launch of N-type TOP Con photovoltaic products online and offline, with over 120,000 online users, breaking a record for similar press conferences. The N-type TOP Con photovoltaic module will also be a flagship product of Xinneng in the next three years. Focusing on the core driving force of photovoltaic modules, a new energy system has further extended downstream and promoted the horizontal expansion of photovoltaic integration. 16 solutions have been created in the three major series of ecological photovoltaic, urban photovoltaic, and floating solar photovoltaic, forming a full-field photovoltaic system solution system.

As one of the typical cases of horizontal expansion of photovoltaic integration, the deep cultivation and exploration of new energy in the floating solar photovoltaic field perfectly explains the principle of "endless innovation".Contribute wisdom to the global clean energy industry, and let "one sunshine illuminate life".