AqvaFloat UK, a UK-based company, has just commissioned a new UK factory to begin production of it’s game-changing floating solar system to supply floating solar projects across the UK and Europe.
“The AqvaFloat system is unique. Unlike other systems it is based on a tried and tested floating docking system that’s been in production for over 40 years”, says Alex Fornal, Head of Sales. “Adapted for solar farms, it is cost-effective and highly robust, certified to withstand 135 mph winds and DWI-water quality approved. We offer a 20-year Product Warranty.”
Simon Piggott is the company’s Founder and MD, "We’re highly confident in floating solar’s potential across all markets”, he says, “We are looking at expansion into the USA to supply projects in the Americas and also into Asia.”. Coupled with growth in demand for solar is the potential for land-use conflicts and in many markets, land is at a higher premium. “That’s where utilizing water bodies begins to make sense”, notes Piggott, “Water companies are early movers since they have high energy demands nearby and land may be in short supply. The added benefits of reduced algal growth and a 10-15% boost in energy yield from the cooling effects of the water are a bonus.”
The AqvaFloat factory in Cumbria is now fully commissioned and ready to produce 12MW initially, and to expand with the market. A number of floating solar projects already exist in the UK and some learning points have been applied to the new system. Fornal notes that “Tethering floating solar systems in reservoirs have been a big challenge in the past. AqvaFloat applies a unique continuous-torsion tethering system called Aqvaflex, that flexibly tethers the solar farm while allowing for large variations in surface water levels in reservoirs.”
“As with all emerging niche markets floating solar boils down to cost”, Fornal concludes. “We are fast approaching parity with on-land systems in some markets and that will be a game-changer. Our system can accommodate any size solar panel; The capacity-to-plastic ratio determines cost in floating projects. That’s what makes our system competitive. We also have plans to maximise use of recycled plastic to bring costs down further, with the added bonus of alleviating a massive plastic pollution problem that is a growing concern.”
Aqvafloat is Headquartered in the Bahamas, with strategic manufacturing facilities being setup regionally to support global market demand.
Aqvafloat | companieshouse.gov.uk