On the pilot floating photovoltaic plant, which has a capacity of 22 kWp and is located on the upper reservoir of the Štěchovice pumped-storage power plant, ČEZ is testing the real properties of floating solar panel design for possible deployment in future large parks. After water is pumped from the River Vltava at night, the pilot plant floats at the highest level of the water surface. On the other hand, when the power system exhausts the capacity of the Štěchovice “battery”, it is almost 9 metres lower. ČEZ sees the potential of water surfaces for the development of photovoltaics, but it does not want to build on numbers that are built “on water”. That is why it is now testing what would be possible to implement in domestic conditions. By 2030, ČEZ wants to contribute to the transformation of the Czech energy sector into a zero-emission sector, by building up renewable energy sources with a capacity of as much as 6 GW.
The Štěchovice pumped-storage power plant, a valuable emergency source, is now gaining further importance. A jigsaw puzzle in the form of four rows of monocrystalline photovoltaic panels was created, thanks to the cooperation of ČEZ Obnovitelné zdroje, PRODECO, and ČEZ hydro power plants. The so-called roofs with east-west orientation are held above the surface of the upper reservoir by more than thirty air-filled floats with a capacity of over 6 tonnes. To withstand the vagaries of the weather and the constant movement of the reservoir level, which is determined by the operation of the pumped-storage power plant, the entire structure is fixed to moving girders mounted on the reservoir walls.
“Thanks-to the ever-increasing efficiency of solar panels, photovoltaics have enormous potential and we do not want to underestimate any area of their application. The expectations for the placement of photovoltaics on suitable water surfaces are high, but only real-life use will show what we are able to do in the Czech environment. If we are convinced by the pilot installation at Štěchovice, we would like to multiply its output five-fold in the summer and start to supply it to the regular grid. Should new calls of the Modernization Fund count on floating solar sources, we want to be prepared not only in theory, but, above all, in practice,” says Jan Kalina, Member of the ČEZ Management Board and Director of its Renewable and Conventional Energy Division.
The Štěchovice pumped-storage power plant, commissioned back in 1947 and comprehensively refurbished in 1996, is able to reach 100% capacity within just three minutes from a controller’s order. Only 100 seconds elapse from the first moment the shaft moves to when maximum capacity is reached. Thanks to the water dropping on the valley-bottom turbine from the reservoir on Homole Hill, the plant is able to deliver a total of 200 MWh of electricity in four hours, helping to stabilise the Czech power system.
ČEZ = a pioneer of the use of clean power from the Sun
ČEZ has been producing electricity from the Sun continuously for 25 years. It built its first power plant using solar radiation in 1998 on the ridges of the Jeseníky Mountains, near the upper reservoir of the Dlouhé stráně pumped-storage power plan. Currently it operates photovoltaic power plants with a total capacity of 126 MW in the Czech Republic, which – depending on the natural conditions – generate enough electricity to supply approximately 40,000 Czech household.
The first new-era ČEZ solar plant was built on the outer grounds of the Dukovany nuclear power plant, on specially adapted roofs of a new parking lot. With a capacity of 820 kWp, the power plant covers annual consumption of nearly three hundred households. The power plant does not take up any arable land and, thanks to double-sided panels, it can utilise even sunlight reflected from the parked cars. ČEZ ESCO is building a solar power plant with a capacity of 2.3 MWp on a turnkey basis directly for the customer on the roofs of the Škoda Auto automobile manufacturer.
The entire world of the production of emission-free power from water by ČEZ can be experienced at ČEZ’s Information Centres as well as through on-line tours of ČEZ power plants. More than 50,000 have already gone on the tours. To book a date for any of them, visit www.virtualnevelektrarne.cz or www.cez.cz/infocentra.
For more on ČEZ Group green power plants in the Czech Republic, see https://www.cez.cz/en/cez-group/green-energy/renewable-energy.