Sweco to study floating solar technology in hydro reservoirs

Engineering company Sweco has been tasked with conducting a feasibility study for floating solar technology in hydro reservoirs in Uganda, as well as completing detailed design of a pilot plant.

Currently, most of Uganda’s electricity generation comes from hydroelectric power. The country is located at the source of the Nile River and is in the process of developing a number of run-of-river dams, including the 600 MW Karuma Hydropower Station. Uganda has a goal of achieving 80% of its electricity access by 2040, with about 30% access rate currently.

Floating solar is intended to diversity the country’s energy mix. The panels will be placed on the surface of a reservoir connected to one of the country’s hydroelectric plants. The client is Uganda Electricity Generation Company Ltd (UEGCL).

Sweco will conduct a preliminary assessment at four hydroelectric facilities in Uganda to determine which is most suitable for construction of a solar facility. After this, a detailed study and design will be conducted, with specifications to enable the procurement of contractors, financial calculations and the evaluation of environmental aspects developed, as data for investment decisions.

“This is a new technological field that is highly attractive for power companies, private investors and financiers. The energy sector is conducting an increasing number of innovative projects and Sweco has great ambitions to participate in international initiatives to contribute to the green transition,” says Conny Udd, division manager for energy and industry, Sweco Sweden.

For this project, Sweco will be collaborating with two consultancy companies from France and one from Germany, as well as with Ugandan subcontractors.

The project will commence immediately and last for 21 months, with key deliverables comprising a feasibility study report and a detailed design of a pilot floating solar photovoltaic plant. The total order value is SEK8 million ($739,800).

Sweco’s project is part of an agreement between the governments of Sweden and Uganda financed by Swedfund, a state-owned company, that serves as Sweden’s development finance institution.

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Author: Renewable Energy World

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