In Cixi City in the Zhejiang Province in eastern China a solar power station with a 200 MegaWatt capacity has been installed above a fish farm. China’s largest photovoltaic (PV) solar farm consists of 300 hectares of solar panels that can generate enough power for 100.000 households. By connecting the power station to the national grid, the fishery can expected an annual yield of 240 million RMB (US$34M) above the annual income already generated through the fish farm.
The solar panels have intentionally been spaced far enough apart in order to let sunlight penetrate the water so not to disturb the growth of the fish beneath the surface. In addition the PV panels installed above the pond will provide shade that will facilitate fish farming under the water. The renewable energy concept might just inspire other fisheries to follow this example.
Image source: People’s Daily Online
Wind farms and solar-energy plants produce free energy, but the availability can change from minute to minute. In order to be able to compete with more traditional forms of energy production it is important to store surpluses on a large-scale for times of scarcity. Pumped storage, as it is called, was until recently, dependant on convenient geography to be built and done so on a two-reservoir-model. Two individual projects are investigating how to adapt the principle of pumped storage to cheap and reliable systems in order to smooth the output of energy and to become large-scale contributors to power generation.
The first project has been running for a year in Toronto, Canada and is situated at the bottom of Lake Ontorio. Compressed air is pumped to a storage vessel 55 metres below the surface of the water where it is stored in spherical bags made by proprietary material. When energy is needed, the air is released to the onshore plant, its expansion there back to normal pressure drives a turbine.
In Germany the StEnSea system (Storing Energy at Sea) has been launced at a depth of 100 metres in Lake Constance. Rather than storing compressed air, this system uses water to pump energy to and from a series of concrete pressure vessels, turning turbines as it travels.
In The Economist an interesting article about both projects and their expected storage capacity.
Image source: © HOCHTIEF Solutions – Storing Energy at Sea
On the 29th of September Cadac Group and NedGraphics held their annual Cadac Summit for Construction, Government, Infrastructure and Civil Engineering. This edition the theme was Going solo is faster, but collaboration will take you further. Blue21 co-founder Bart Roeffen was invited to be one of the keynote speakers during this event.
In keeping with the theme Bart spoke about how collaboration has helped Blue21 take the first steps on their Blue Revolution. By seeking partners who they can work together with, and learn from their expertise, the realization of the first floating city in the world is now closer than ever before.
Image source: Cadac Group and NedGraphics
Independent international online newspaper TōTen is helping us to spread the word on our Blue Revolution. Journalist Tenley Elliot interviewed Blue21 co-founder Karina Czapiewska on water-based development and the realization of floating cities with positive impact on the environment.
“As land for urban development along with land for farming is getting harder to come by, what other opportunities are there for growth? And is it possible to develop in a sustainable, even positive way?” According to Blue21 the answer is yes! Read the full article here to find out how.