Advanced bifacial SoliTek solar plant

Lithuanian solar technology company SoliTek has opened In Ukraine, Dnieper region, a new generation 2 MW solar power plant, the first of its kind in Europe. Equipped with top of the line bifacial glass-glass solar panels and horizontal single-axis sun tracking system, it will generate up to 40% more electricity than a conventional solar power plant. After piloting this project this year, SoliTek plans to start installing this model in EU markets. The size of investment by Global BOD Group, owner of the SoliTek, is 2.6 million EUR.

The state-of-the-art solar power plant combined 3 major innovations: bifacial glass-glass solar panels with service life cycle of at least 30 years, horizontal single-axis sun tracking system and ultra-reflective UV-stable polypropylene woven textile under the panels, which increases the Albedo effect up to 6 times. Traditional large-scale solar plants around the world use standard one sided panels installed on the ground

"Our uniqueness is in all these details, because such large-scale solar plants usually employ the basic technologies with no ambition to break-through with such innovations. We will demonstrate, that such a new approach to state-of-the-art industrial scale solar parks can be beneficial – both financially and educationally. This new solar plant will yield higher ROI and be example business-case for our future installations in EU," says Vidmantas Janulevičius, Chairman of the Board of Global BOD Group.

The benefits of horizontal single-axis sun tracking system is more efficient use of solar radiation in the morning and the end of the day, exactly when there is a peak of power consumption all around and thus the highest price of electricity. The curve of electricity production by such a solar power plant is flat during the day and corresponds to the standard electricity consumption profile of household and industrial consumers.

The new SoliTek power plant in Volnohorsk, Ukraine, covers an area of 6 hectares and is located in an abandoned industrial area next to a glass factory. It is planned that the generation of the solar power plant will reach its maximum already this year and already in 2020 will allow the know-how created here to be used for the installation of similar power plants in Scandinavia and the Benelux countries, the major SoliTek markets of today.

“Although this power plant is not unique in scale, it is completely unique in its technological solutions. A couple of years ago we set the strategic direction of our group – to focus on building most efficient and technologically advanced solar plants and parks with maximum possible life span.

Only by offering completely innovative technological solutions we can effectively compete with Asian manufacturers. With this project, we will prove that a thoughtful investment in state-of-the-art technology solutions can be more profitable than the reproduction of standard projects,” says Vidmantas Janulevičius, Chairman of the Board of Global BOD Group.

The warranty period for the new generation of SoliTek solar power plants is also significantly different from the traditional ones being built in world markets today: SoliTek glass-glass panels maintain stability and maximum efficiency for at least 30 years, while conventional large power plant projects come with standard 10-year panel life span.

“The math is simple – the investment in such a project will generate three times more electricity revenue. Thus, the return on investment will continue to increase,” emphasizes Mr. V. Janulevicius.

SoliTek solar power plant in Ukraine consists of 220 horizontal single-axis units that are programmed to follow the sun's trajectory in the sky; each unit mounts 30 pieces SOLID Bifacial HC glass- glass solar panels manufactured at the SoliTek plant in Vilnius, Lithuania. The effect of bifacial panels and solar tracking technology will allow the system to generate at least 40% more electricity. The power plant employs 11 Swiss company ABB 175 kW power inverters.

Floating solar plant in Kruonis PSHP

Experimental floating photovoltaic solar power plant project in Kruonis pumped storage hydroelectric power plant (PSHP), developed by Lithuanian state-owned enterprise Lietuvos Energijos Gamyba has received funding from the Lithuanian Business Support Agency (LBSA). The total amount of 235k EUR have been granted.

LBSA together with the Ministry of the Economy and Innovation have decided to fund the project after considering 139 applications, 91 of which received grants. The floating solar power plant project has been rated among the best applications. Lietuvos energijos gamyba is developing the project together with the scientists from Kaunas University of Technology (KTU).

„Successful start of the pilot solar power plant project in Kruonis PSHP is a good indicator that, as a state-owned enterprise, we really managed to get ahead in terms of innovation. Being the first of its kind in the region, this project provides us with a great possibility to become a leader in renewable energy technologies and promote Lithuania in the international R&D community“, says Dominykas Tuckus, Development and Infrastructure Director at Lietuvos Energija Group.

Today, around 400 PSHPs globally do not make any additional use of their water reservoirs. The professor of the Electrical and Electronics Engineering Faculty at the KTU Saulius Gudzius agrees that the solar power project in Kruonis PSHP is indeed unique. „As Bill Gates once told, if he had to choose his future career now, he would go for artificial intelligence, energy or biosciences, the three spheres he considers to have the biggest impact to the World. With the floating solar power plant project, we aim to combine the first two spheres – new energy solutions and digital technologies, developing an algorithm to manage the system of energy production. This experimental solution should make a significant contribution both in terms of creating a sustainable energy system and promoting technological competitiveness of the country“, tells professor S. Gudzius. During the primary stage of the project, Lietuvos Energijos Gamyba and KTU plan to install an experimental (60 kW) solar power plant in the upper-reservoir of the Kruonis PSHP and to develop an algorithm for managing the power plant and energy storage system. The algorithm will take into account constantly registered network and other physical parameters of the Kruonis PSHP.

The primary stage of the project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2021. In the future, the floating photovoltaic solar power plant could use the whole upper-reservoir of the Kruonis PSHP, covering more than 300 hectares. The structure resistant to ice and waves will also be designed to adjust to water-level variations. Combined with the battery energy storage systems, a technology like this would allow Lietuvos Energijos Gamyba to provide reliable FCR and primary reserve services. This will be of key-importance for Lithuania before and after 2025, when the country joins the continental European grid. „Having evaluated the results of the pilot project, we will assess the idea of covering the whole 300 ha upper-reservoir of Kruonis PSHP with the floating solar power units. The full-size power plant could reach approx. 200-250 MW, twice as much as the current capacity of the Kaunas Algirdas Brazauskas’ hydropower plant. In case of success, this project would bring added value for the shareholders of Lietuvos Energijos Gamyba and foster the development of renewable energy in Lithuania, tripling the existing country‘s solar power capacity“, says Darius Kucinas, deputy CEO and Director of Production at Lietuvos Energijos Gamyba.

According to initial calculations, covering the whole Kruonis PSHP’s upper reservoir with the floating solar power modules would result in a power plant generating enough electricity to supply more than 120k households yearly.

A part of Lietuvos Energija Group, Lietuvos Energijos Gamyba is a state-owned enterprise, operating Lithuania’s largest power generation facilities: Elektrenai Complex, Kruonis Pump Storage Hydroelectric Power Plant, Kaunas Algirdas Brazauskas’ Hydroelectric Power Plant, and Vilnius Power Plant-3. Contributing to the overall energy security of the Baltic States and ensuring stability of the energy system through effective management, modernisation and development of both traditional and green energy generation capabilities are the key objectives of the company.

The floating solar power plant project is a part of the Lietuvos Energija Innovation Hub’s Open Culture and Partnerships initiative. The initiative acts as a space that enables Group’s employees to act on innovative solutions and attracts potential ideas from the outside sources through hackathons and other ideation events.

Detra Solar virtual reality software

Detra Solar developed software that creates 3D rendered images of the solar park design. These images can be manipulated and explored on screen or uploaded into a virtual reality environment such as Oculus Rift. The user gets a 100% accurate representation of the future solar park and being able to walk around it before ground has even been broken. The benefits of a VR help to spot any aesthetic problems early on, lets user get an accurate feel for the project while planning the construction phase and is an impressive way to showcase the project to investors.

Keep the Energy at the right place

The overall aim of the Energy Keeper project is to design, develop and test a novel, scalable, sustainable and cost competitive flow battery based on organic redox active materials. A 30kW redox flow battery with a capacity of 100 kWh will be constructed and equipped with an interoperable Battery Management System enabling plug and play integration into a Smart Grid. The developed technologies will be integrated with real RES (Renewable Energy Sources), Electric Vehicle chargers and variable power consumption demonstrated at the ACRRES test site. Finally Energy Keeper will develop several prosumer business models oriented to different types of communities in order to demonstrate that EnergyKeeper storage system will bring economic profit to end-users while providing stability to the electricity grid.

Solar PV on the Distribution Grid

The goal of the iDistributedPV project is to develop affordable integrated solutions to enhance the production of energy through solar photovoltaic distributed generation. The project will look into energy storage devices, accurate monitoring strategies and procedures, and active demand management approaches. Additionally, iDistributedPV will contribute to better defining the concept of prosumer, i.e. a consumer who not only consumes but also produces energy. PV developers, equipment and components manufacturers, electricity distribution companies, energy policy experts and research centres will work together to propose affordable technical, regulatory and business solutions to promote the development of distributed solar PV and overcome the existing barriers.