The Albanian utility, Korporata Elektroenergjetike Shqiptare, has begun the construction of a 12.9 MW floating PV plant. The plant is to be constructed at a reservoir of the Drin River near Vau I Dejës, in Shkodër County, northwestern Albania.
It has been estimated to cost US$16.3 million of which, US$11.1 million is expected to be lent by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for the construction of the Albanian floating PV (Photovoltaic) plant. The US$16.3 million plant has been talked about and planned for since late 2018 and if all goes well, will be the largest floating project in the Western Balkans.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) stated on its website that the project aims to strengthen KESH’s operational and financial performance through reduced reliance on hydro revenues and due to the floating technology’s positive impact on the water levels of the existing reservoir. They added that the environmental and social issues associated with the project are anticipated to be localized, readily assessed, and mitigated, based on their research.
“Environmental and social issues associated with the project are anticipated to be localized, readily assessed, and mitigated, based on an environmental and social due diligence [study],” stated the EBRD.
The plant would be built on a reservoir at the 260 MW Vau I Dejës Hydroelectric Power Station owned by KESH. The utility, which runs three hydropower plants with a combined generation capacity of 1.3 GW at the Drin River Cascade, operates around 80% of the nation’s generation capacity. Norwegian renewables company Statkraft, and compatriot floating PV specialist Ocean Sun, are developing a US$2.3 million, 2 MW floating solar project at the former’s 72 MW hydropower plant in Albania’s Elbasan region.