Floating solar panel test beds in the district of San Antonio in Laguna de Bay, Philippines. Solar power firms like Ciel et Terre are asking regulators for 10 per cent use of the 95,000 hectare lake, translating to over 9,000 megawatts of renewable energy for the country. Image: Sun Asia Energy An array of solar panels floats on the waters of San Antonio in San Pedro, one of the cities surrounding Laguna de Bay, the Philippines’ largest freshwater lake 55 kilometres south of Metro Manila, on the northern island of Luzon. Installed in March by renewable energy firms Sun Asia Energy and Ciel et Terre, the 13 kilowatt structure is a year-long experiment to see if the photovoltaic (PV) panels can withstand the strong waves and gusty winds at the lake. In the nine months since it was installed, the test bed has survived more than 10 typhoons that have slammed into Luzon, said Karlo Abril, Sun Asia’s floating solar project lead. They included Typhoon Mitag—the most powerful typhoon in the country this year with a wind speed of up to 170 kilometres per hour, and which also caused fatalities in Japan, China and South Korea. Screw piles used […]

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