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Statkraft completes construction of first R&D floating solar plant in Albania

Statkraft, Norway's state power producer, and Europe's leading renewable energy producer, has commissioned a 2 MWp floating solar plant on the reservoir of the company's Banja hydropower plant in Albania. "After successful completion of the implementation phase, Statkraft’s Banja Floating Solar Plant started commercial operations, the utility announced on 9 March. "The plant is generating renewable energy and injecting it in the Albanian national electricity grid," it added.

Implementation of the pilot project of the Banja floating solar plant started in 2020 and entailed a total investment of approximately €2 million. The floating solar technology was developed by the Norwegian company Ocean Sun and was implemented with Doko, a local contractor.

The plant comprises four floating units of 0.5 MWp each, which are anchored on the Banja reservoir, near the dam of the 72 MW Banja storage plant, and is designed to generate approximately 2.6 GWh per annum. In addition to generating renewable energy, this R&D project shall also serve as a learning base to properly assess the potential benefits of this technology, Statkraft said in a press release. “The completion of the implementation phase of this R&D project marks another achievement for Statkraft in Albania. This project has been implemented in close cooperation with the Albanian authorities. With our Banja and Moglice hydropower plants, we are the largest private investor in renewable energy in the country and are currently looking into further optimizing these renewable assets,” said Statkraft’s Country Head in Albania, Rigela Gegprifti.