Hybrid Floating Solar Photovoltaics-Hydropower Systems: Benefits and Global Assessment of Technical Potential

Nathan Lee, Ursula Grunwald, Evan Rosenlieb, Heather Mirletz, Alexandra Aznar, Robert Spencer, Sadie Cox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Scopus Citations

Abstract

Floating solar photovoltaics (FPV) is an emerging, and increasingly viable, application of photovoltaics (PV) in which systems are sited directly on waterbodies. Despite growing market interest, FPV system deployment is nascent, and potential adopters remain concerned about the technology, the benefits it offers, the advantages to pairing it in hybrid systems (such as with hydropower), and how to analyze technical potential. To support decision making, we provide a review of associated benefits of hybrid FPV-hydropower system operation and a novel, geospatial approach to assess the global technical potential of these systems employing publicly available, global datasets. We identify significant potential globally for FPV hybridized with hydropower ranging from 3.0 TW to 7.6 TW (4,251 TWh to 10,616 TWh annual generation), based on the assumptions made. We detail operational benefits that these hybrid systems may provide that could be quantified in future modeling and/or analyses of existing or planned hybrid systems.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1415-1427
Number of pages13
JournalRenewable Energy
Volume162
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-7A40-76202

Keywords

  • Floating solar
  • FPV
  • Hybrid
  • Hydropower
  • Photovoltaics
  • Technical potential

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