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Initial studies reveal ‘feasibility’ of Suriname floating solar project

Bnamericas Published: Tuesday, December 06, 2022
Initial studies reveal ‘feasibility’ of Suriname floating solar project

Results of financial and economic studies for a floating solar photovoltaic project in Suriname are expected in early 2023.

Jerome Daan, power and sustainable energy project manager at national oil company Staatsolie provided the update during a local sector event.

“Although this study is still ongoing, we can safely say that it looks feasible to have a floating PV solar plant connected to the Afobaka hydro plant in the near future,” he said.

BNamericas previously reported that Dornier Group was selected to look at the technical, economic, institutional, legal, and environmental aspects of installing the solar array at Staatsolie Power’s 189MW Afobaka dam (pictured).

Daan added that the power potential of the proposed site is estimated at 72MWac to produce around 144GWh/year.

Other work underway and supported by IDB involves additional bathymetry and geotechnical data collection, validating the grid stability model and requirements for transmission line construction.

One of the advantages of floating solar highlighted by Daan is that there is no need to acquire valuable land.

Indeed, event participant Robert Pancham, chief engineer at state power utility EBS, pointed to limited rights of way options for grid expansion as a challenge for the incorporation of large-scale renewable energy.

Pancham said, however, there are plans for a 110kV circuit to widen the EPAR grid which is the country’s main power system and includes the capital of Paramaribo. EPAR concentrates 80% of the national load within a 10km radius, he added.

Suriname's installed power generation capacity stands at 510MW, 62% of which is thermo, 37% hydro and 1% solar.

Forecast load demand in the EPAR (Source: Pancham presentation)

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