Ocean Sun, Statkraft Working to Retrieve Sunken Solar Plant in Albania


Norwegian floating solar tech company Ocean Sun is working to retrieve its floating solar power plant that sank in Albania earlier this month.

As previously reported, Statkraft and Ocean Sun said the first of four Ocean Sun floating solar plants - covering 4,000 square meters and with nearly 1600 solar panels - had started operation on Wednesday, June 2, at the Statkraft Banja reservoir in Albania.

However, a week later on June 9, Ocean Sun said there was an incident with the floater, located on Statkraft’s 72-megawatt hydropower plant, where the floating ring with membrane and two connected barges were severely damaged and partly submerged. 

"Salvaging the assets including solar panels is ongoing. The company is working closely with Statkraft to determine the reasons and the consequences of the incident," Ocean Sun said at the time.

In an update on Thursday, June 24, Ocean Sun said: "In close collaboration with Statkraft, work is currently ongoing to take the damaged unit completely ashore. HSSE aspects are the top priority in all parts of this operation."  

"During, and in parallel with the work to secure the collapsed ring, the parties are working diligently to identify the root causes of the incident."

"This analysis will provide important input to the process of detailing a plan for the project’s next steps at the Banja site.  Finally, despite this incident, Ocean Sun remains fully committed to and confident in the core technology, which has been successfully proven in several pilots. Ocean Sun will update the financial market as the process moves forward and further information becomes available," Ocean Sun.

Prior to the incident, the companies said that three more floating units would be installed in the second half of 2021, for a total additional capacity of 1.5 MWp. It's unclear whether these plans are still in effect.Illustration showing four floaters at Banja reservoir - Credit: Statkraft

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