EXPLORING THE POTENTIAL FOR FLOATING PHOTOVOLTAIC SOLAR ON MAN-MADE RESERVOIRS IN THE UNITED STATES
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Floating photovoltaic solar systems (FPV) is a rapidly emerging technology across the globe. However, it has yet to make the same significant traction in the United States. Valuable utilization of renewable energy potential must be fully adapted to ensure energy security, mitigate and adapt to climate change threats, and foster sustainable development in the United States, and any viable technology that could contribute to these goals should be fully vetted. This research analyzes the potential for increased development of FPV systems sited on man-made reservoirs in the US. Key factors that contribute to successful utility-scale FPV and land-based solar project development were compared and analyzed to further understand the potential for an increased presence of FPV in the US. The analysis found that FPV provides multiple benefits over land-based solar relating to system energy efficiency, the environment, and the ability for hybrid energy production when sited on hydropower dam reservoirs. There is a high potential for increased development on man-made reservoirs, especially hydropower basins soon. As higher-profile projects come online throughout the US and more data becomes available, it will help bolster confidence for key industry stakeholders that the technology is feasible and does warrant significant investment. Developers and key industry stakeholders can utilize this research to gain a thorough understanding of the technology and how it compares to industry standards for land-based PV systems.