By August 29, 2017 Read More →

Floating solar farm produces energy atop flooded coal mine

floating solar farm

floating solar farm Sungrow photo.

Floating solar farm in Chinese city of Huainan largest in the world

In the coal-rich city of Huainan, China, a renewable energy company has turned a former coal mine that has been flooded with groundwater into the home of the world’s largest floating solar farm.

The company running the project, a branch of the Sungrow Power Supply Co Ltd., says the 40-megawatt power plant is made up of about 120,000 solar panels and covers an area larger than 160 football fields.

It started generating electricity in the middle of August.

The floating solar farm located in the Eastern Chinese province of Anhui generates enough electricity to power 15,000 homes.

The solar panels “float” about 200 to 300 metres away from the bank on the subsidence area that is 400 hectares, to ensure decreasing water does not impact the farm.

“On the surface, the floats just stay on the water, and the truth is that more than 1,000 reinforced concrete piles are installed on the bed, keeping the floats in order,” Xiao Fuqin, deputy general manager of the Sungrow branch told the China Daily News.

Floating solar farms are not new, but according to, but with its 40-megawatt farm, China has taken the technology to an all new level.  The UK is home to the now second-largest floating solar farm which has the capacity to produce 6.3 megawatts.

While the technology is more expensive to build than a solar farm on land due to aging factors, including salt, heat and humidity issues, floating solar farms can be built on otherwise unused surface. Also, the technology is efficient as the water cools the panels while they generate electricity and can aid in the mitigation of lake water evaporation.

The World Economic Forum described the solar farm floating above a flooded coal mine as “pleasing symbolism”, but it is also practical as China struggles to clean up its smog-filled skies.  The solar farm does not take up scarce land and resources which protects the environment and benefits local development.

The farm has a life expectancy of 25 years.









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