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Hong Kong considers 17 floating solar farms

Shek Pik Reservoir

Black & Veatch is to start an investigation into the feasibility of large scale floating solar farms at 17 of Hong Kong’s impounded reservoirs.

Water loss reduction, algae growth suppression and renewable power will be the study’s main areas of analysis. The client is Water Supplies Department of the Hong Kong.

Hong Kong director of water supplies department Enoch Lam Tin Sing said while there were multiple environmental and economic benefits for Hong Kong, it was still a “complex and innovative approach” for the region. However he said the study would help to identify and understand the sustainability issues.

The risk-based assessment will be measured against significant economic, social and environmental factors, including threats from typhoons. Consideration will also be given to the technology available, siting and resilience of the farms, power capacities and commercial models.

Black & Veatch vice president and managing director Hong Kong Alan Man said: “Thinking holistically and sustainably – how water, power and all resources are connected – is seeing a wealth of engineering innovation emerge. That needs to be properly understood technically and financially.”

Man said the project is forward thinking in looking at security of water supply by reducing evaporation while also creating a new revenue stream by working closely with the electric grid.

Two floating photovoltaic (PV) pilot projects, each 100kW capacity, at Hong Kong reservoirs Shek Pik and Plover Cove (the latter being under construction) will serve as part of the technical evaluation.

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