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World’s largest floating solar testing ground is underway in Singapore

The $11 million project will try out 10 different solar panel systems

Singapore is an island nation with 17 freshwater reservoirs. While some developers might see these vast watery expanses as a waste of good space, city officials spotted the opportunity for power generation. Soon, the country will begin testing 10 different floating solar panel systems on the Tengeh Reservoir in what will be the world’s largest floating solar testbed.

The $11 million project is set to be up and running by the end of the year. It comes from Singapore’s Economic Development Board, Public Utilities Board, and the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore. Eight different companies, from local to international, are also participating.

Researchers will observe the systems for at least six months to see how the floating solar panels impact the reservoir’s biodiversity, water quality, and evaporation—in addition to the panels’ performance.

Two of the 10 systems will be chosen for a second, larger testing phase with the goal of one day creating floating panel systems generating enough electricity for the entire country.

“Given our geography, solar photovoltaic systems are a key technology in Singapore’s efforts to harness renewable energy,” said Singapore’s Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli in a recent announcement. “Floating photovoltaic systems, those installed over our water bodies, not only help to overcome land constraints, but also have the potential to reduce evaporative losses from our reservoirs.”

Via: Inhabitat