No ground or roofs on your property to put in a solar installation? SPG Solar has just updated its floating solar technology, called Solar Floatovoltaics. The technology is meant to work in an irrigation pond, lake, reservoir or other body of water, and the company says it is priced competitively compared to ground-mounted systems.
Aside from acting as an option if you don't have the "hard" space to install solar, water-mounted solar technology has other benefits, according to SPG Solar. Those include reduced water usage associated with solar technology (because the technology is already using water), minimized algae growth (because of the way the technology covers a body of water and protects it from sun overexposure) and shade below the panels, which improves the output. The technology is supposed to last at least 20 years.
It is hard to find lots of examples of customers using the technology, but one reference account is the Far Niente Winery in Napa Valley, Calif.
In the press release announcing that installation, Far Niente's owner and CEO said: "We looked at several configurations for our solar array, but they all involved taking out a significant amount of our vineyard, which was not an attractive idea. Finally my partner, Dirk Hampson, suggested we find a way to put the panels on our irrigation pond. After interviewing several companies, it turned out that SPG Solar's sister company, [Thompson Technology Institute], had developed the technology to float an installation on water, and we provided them with the opportunity to try it."