Solar panels sit in an array at the 2.3-megawatt floating solar power station operated by Kyocera TCL Solar LLC, a joint venture between Kyocera Corp. and Century Tokyo Leasing Corp., on Sakasamaike Pond in Kasai, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. (Photographer: Buddhika Weerasinghe/Bloomberg)

China Three Gorges Starts World's Biggest Floating Solar Project

(Bloomberg) -- A unit of China Three Gorges Corp. is building a 1 billion yuan ($151 million) floating solar power plant, the world’s biggest, in the nation’s eastern province of Anhui.

China Three Gorges New Energy Co. started building the 150-megawatt project in July and part of the plant has connected to the grid, according to a Dec. 10 statement. The project features panels fixed to floats on the surface of a lake that formed after a coal mine collapsed, according to the unit. The entire facility is expected to come online by May 2018.

Floating solar is getting bigger in China, where ground-mounted projects aren’t used to full capacity because of grid congestion. About 5.6 percent of solar power generation was idled in the first three quarters, according to data from the National Energy Administration.

Before construction of China Three Gorges’ plant, China’s biggest commissioned floating solar project was a 40-megawatt farm by Sungrow Power Supply Co. in the same province, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Feifei Shen in Beijing at fshen11@bloomberg.net.

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.

With assistance from Feifei Shen