- Google recently signed its first green deal in Asia, a solar project to be built above fishing ponds in Taiwan.
- Building solar projects over water is becoming more common in Asia due to population density and competition for available land.
- Worldwide, the floating solar market could reach 400 gigawatts, according to the World Bank. A recent DOE report said 10 percent of U.S. energy supply could come from floating solar power.
Google unveiled an ambitious plan eight years ago to build a wind energy project in the Atlantic Ocean running all the way from New York to Virginia. That massive “underwater spine” has been slow to progress, but Google is moving ahead with its first water-based renewable energy project — it is just a little smaller in scale: Solar panels atop a series of fishing ponds in Taiwan. The deal marks Google’s entry into the Asian renewable energy market.
Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet, recently became the first company to make a purchase under the 2017 Taiwan Electricity Act, which allows non-utility companies to purchase renewable energy. For the 10-megawatt solar array in Tainan City, Taiwan, Google will install poles, with solar panels at the top of them, above fishing ponds.
The idea of building solar projects sited on water — known as floating photovoltaics, or “flotovoltaics” — is becoming more popular.