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S. Korea To Build World's Biggest Floating Solar Power Plant on Saemangeum Lake
To Produce Electricity for 1 Mil. Households
S. Korea To Build World's Biggest Floating Solar Power Plant on Saemangeum Lake
  • By Michael Herh
  • July 19, 2019, 10:41
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A floating solar farm on a reservoir in Gunsan, North Jeolla Province

The South Korean government will build the world's largest floating solar farm on a lake next to Saemangeum, a reclaimed area on the west coast.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) said on July 18 it has approved a project to build a 2.1 gigawatt (GW) solar power plant on Saemangeum Lake.

The plant will cover 30 square kilometers (11.6 square miles) of the lake, which is adjacent to a site where an international airport will be built. It is expected to produce electricity enough for 1 million households.

If the facility is built as planned, it would be 14 times the size of the world's largest floating solar farm with a 150 MW capacity in China's Huainan and 1.6 times the capacity of the entire global floating solar facilities built last year, the ministry said.

The project is expected to bring the government closer to the goal of its renewable energy initiative, which aims to nearly triple the portion of renewable energy to 20 percent by 2030. The roadmap calls for adding 30.8 GW of solar and 16.5 GW of wind power to have a total renewable capacity of 63.8 GW by 2030. In addition, the station is expected to help reduce 273 tons of fine dust and 1 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2).

The planned solar power farm is expected to require more than 5 million solar power modules, creating a 2.50 trillion won (US$2.13 billion) market for domestic solar facility and equipment producers.

Shim Jin-soo, head of the renewable energy division at MOTIE, said, “Construction of the floating solar farm on Saemangeum Lake requires about 4.60 trillion won (US$3.92 billion) of private investment funds and create 1.60 million jobs a year.”

Meanwhile, work on the solar farm is expected to start in the latter half of 2020 following regulatory review processes, including environmental effects evaluation and public water usage permission, in the first half.