Possibility of Using Floating Solar Photovoltaics in the Hybrid Energy Systems in the Islands of El Hierro, Spain and Crete, Greece


  • John Vourdoubas Consultant Engineer, 107B El. Venizelou str., 73132, Chania, Crete, Greece


Crete, El Hierro, electricity, floating solar-PV panels, hybrid energy systems, pumped-hydro-storage, water dam


Use of floating solar photovoltaics in man-made water dams is an emerging sustainable energy technology worldwide. Floating solar photovoltaics reduce the land area required for their installation, reduce water evaporation from water bodies while they have higher electricity yields. Aim of the current work is the investigation of the possibility of using floating solar photovoltaics in the hybrid energy systems in the islands of El Hierro, Canary islands, Spain and in Crete, Greece. The characteristics of the existed pumped-hydro-storage system in El Hierro and the planned pumped-hydro-storage system in Crete are used for the necessary estimations. Our results indicate that the annual electricity generation from the installation of floating solar photovoltaics in the existing pumped-hydro storage system in El Hierro, with 30% coverage ratio, corresponds at 6.09% of the annual electricity generation by the hybrid energy plant and at 4.6% of the total annual electricity consumption in the island. The annual electricity generation from the installation of floating solar photovoltaics in the planned pumped-hydro storage system in Crete, with 30% coverage ratio, correspond at 296.91% of the estimated electricity generation by the hybrid energy plant and at 22.14 % of the annual electricity consumption in the island in 2018. It is concluded that installation of floating solar photovoltaics in water dams in the abovementioned hybrid energy plants in these two islands could generate significant amounts of solar electricity complementing the generated wind and hydro power. Use of floating solar photovoltaics in these two islands transform the co-generation energy plants to tri-generation plants producing hydro, wind and solar electricity.


. M. Lopez, F. Soto & Z.A. Hernandez. “Assessment of the potential of floating solar photovoltaic panels in bodies of water in mainland Spain”. Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 340, pp. 130752, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2022.130752

. S-M. Kim, M. Oh & H-D. Park. “Analysis and prioritization of the floating Photovoltaics system potential for reservoirs in Korea”. Applied Science, Vol. 9, pp. 395, 2019. doi:10.3390/app9030395

. R. Gonzalez Sanchez, I. Kougias, M. Moner-Girona & F. Fahl. “Assessment of floating solar photovoltaic potential in existing hydropower reservoirs in Africa”. Renewable Energy, Vol. 169, pp. 687-699, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.renene.2021.01.041.

. G. Kakoulaki, R. Gonzalez Sanchez, A. Gracia Amillo, S. Szabo, M. De Felice, F. Farinosa, L. De Felice, B. Bisselink, R. Seliger, I. Kougias & A. Jaeger-Waldaw. “Benefits of pairing floating solar photovoltaics with hydropower reservoirs in Europe”. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Vol. 171, pp. 112989, 2023. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2022.112989.

. I. Kougias, K. Bodis, A. Jager-Waldau, F. Monforti-Ferrario & S. Szabo. “Exploiting existing dams for solar-PV installations”. Progress in Photovoltaics, Vol. 24(2), pp. 229-239, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1002/pip.2640

. R. Godina, E.M.G. Rodrigues, J.C.O. Matias & J.P.S. Catalao. “Sustainable energy system of El Hierro island”, in the International Conference on Renewable Energies and Power Quality, La Coruna, Spain, 25th-27th March 2015. [Online]. Available: https://www.icrepq.com/icrepq'15/232-15-godina.pdf

. G. Frydrychowicz-Jastrzebska. “El Hierro renewable energy hybrid system: A tough compromise”. Energies, Vol. 11, pp. 2812, 2018. doi:10.3390/en11102812

. T. Nikolaou, G.S. Stavrakakis & K. Tsamoudalis. “Modeling and optimal dimensioning of a pumped hydro energy storage system for the exploitation of the rejected wind energy in the non-interconnected electrical power system of the Crete island, Greece”. Energies, vol. 13, 2705, 2020. doi: 10.3390/en13112705.

. J. Vourdoubas. “Possibilities of using solar photovoltaic panels on water reservoirs in the island of Crete, Greece”. Environmental Management and Sustainable Development, Vol. 1(4), pp. 11-26, 2022a. doi:10.5296/emsd.v11i4.20200

. Best practice - Renewables networking platform, 100% Renewable island, El Hierro, Spain, 2021. [Online], Available: https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/default/files/research_and_innovation/funding/documents/ec_rtd_island-prize-elhierro.pdf

. Responsible Island Prize, The island of El Hierro, Spain, 2021. [Online], available: https://www.goronadelviento.es/en/the-island-of-el-hierro-is-awarded-the-responsible-island-prize/

. Y. Qiblawey, A. Alassi, M. Zain ul Abideen & S. Banales. “Techno-economic assessment of increasing the renewable energy supply in the Canary Islands: The case of Tenerife and Gran Canaria”. Energy Policy, Vol. 162, pp. 112791, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2022.112791

. A. Dianellou, Th. Christakopoulos, G. Caralios, V. Kotroni, K. Lagouvardos & A. Zervos. “Is the large-scale development of wind-PV with hydro-pumped storage economically feasible in Greece?”. Applied Sciences, Vol. 11, pp. 2368, 2021. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11052368

. G. Notton, M-L. Nivet, C. Voyant, J-L. Duchaud, A. Fouilloy, D. Zafirakis & J. Kaldellis. “Tilos, an autonomous Greek island thanks to a PV/wind/Zebra battery plant and a smart energy management system”, in the 7th International Conference on Energy Efficiency and Agricultural Engineering, 11-12 June 2020, Ruse, Bulgaria. https://hal-univ-corse.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03046036

. K. Fiorentzis, Y. Katsigiannis & E. Karapidakis. “Full-scale implementation of RES and storage in an island energy system”. Inventions, Vol. 5, pp. 52, 2020. DOI:10.3390/inventions5040052

. TERNA to start building 730 MW pumped storage hydropower plant in October (2021). Retrieved from https://balkangreenenergynews.com/terna-to-start-building-730-mw-pumped-storage-hydropower-plant-in-october/

. S. Szabo, I. Kougias, M. Moner-Girona & K. Bodis. “Sustainable energy portofolios for small-island states”. Sustainability, Vol. 7(9), pp. 12340-12358, 2015. https://doi.org/10.3390/su70912340

. S.V. Papaefthimiou, E.G. Karamanou & St.A. Papathanasiou. “A wind-hydro-pumped storage station leading to high RES penetration in the autonomous island system of Ikaria”. IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy, Vol. 1(3), pp. 163-172, 2010. DOI:10.1016/j.renene.2014.08.062

. A. Gigantidou. “Crete Power System”, in the 4th International Hybrid Power Systems Workshop, Heraklion, Crete, Greece, 22-23 May 2019.

. D. Katsaprakakis, I. Antonakakis, I. Dakanali & D. Christakis. “Turning Crete into an energy independent island”, in the 4th International Hybrid Power Systems workshop, Crete, Greece, 2019. Available: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/333701601_Turning_Crete_into_an_energy_independent_island.

J. Vourdoubas. “Possibilities of creating an energy system based on renewable energies in Karpathos island, Greece”. American Academic Scientific Research Journal for Engineering, Technology and Sciences, Vol. 891, pp. 124-138, 2022b.

S. Biza, D. Piromalis, D. Barkas, C.S. Psomopoulos & C.D. Tsikeris. “Crete-Peloponnese 150 KV AC interconnection. Simulation results for transient phenomena in main switches". Energy Procedia, vol. 157, pp. 1366-1376, 2019. 10.1016/j.egypro.2018.11.301.

A. J. Ramirez-Diaz, F. Ramos-Real & G. A. Marrero. “Complementarity of electric vehicles and pumped-hydro as energy storage in small isolated energy systems: case of La Palma, Canary islands”. Journal of Modern Power Systems Clean Energy, Vol. 4(4), pp. 604-614, 2016. DOI 10.1007/s40565-016-0243-2

A. Rodrigues, D. Machado & T. Dentinho. “Electrical energy storage systems feasibility; the case of Terceira island”. Sustainability, Vol. 9, pp. 1276, 2017.doi:10.3390/su9071276

M. Elshafei, A. Ibrahim, A. Helmy, M. Abdallah, A. Eldeib, M. Badawy & S. AbdelRazek. “Study of massive floating solar panels over lake Nasser”. Hindawi, Journal of Energy, article ID 6674091, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1155/2021/6674091

L.W. Farrar, A.S. Bahaj, P. James, A. Anwar & N. Amdar. “Floating solar PV to reduce water evaporation in water stressed regions and powering water pumping: Case study Jordan”. Energy Conversion and Management, Vol. 260, pp. 115598, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enconman.2022.115598

“Floating solar PV on dam reservoirs: The opportunities and challenges”, Hydropower & Dams, Vol. 4, pp. 82-101, 2021.

Where sun meets water – floating solar handbook for practitioners, 2019, World Bank Group. http://hdl.handle.net/10986/32804

G. Diogo Pimentel Da Silva & D. Alves Castelo Branco. “Is floating photovoltaic better than conventional photovoltaic? Assessing environmental impacts”. Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, Vol. 36(5), pp. 390-400, 2018. DOI: 10.1080/14615517.2018.1477498

G.M. Tina, R. Cazzaniga, M. Rosa-Clot & P. Rosa-Clot. “Geographic and Technical floating photovoltaic potential”. Thermal Science, Vol. 22(3), pp. S831-S841, 2018. https://doi.org/10.2298/TSCI170929017T

S. Oliveira-Pinto & J. Stokkermans. “Marine floating solar plants: an overview of potential challenges and feasibility”. Maritime Engineering, Vol. 173(4), pp. 120-135 2020. https://doi.org/10.1680/jmaen.2020.10

R.L. Pedroso de Lima, K. Paxinou, F.C. Boogaard, O. Akkerman & F-U. Lin. “In-situ water quality observations under a large-scale floating solar farm using sensors and underwater drones”. Sustainability, Vol. 13, pp. 6421, 2021. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13116421.

M. Dorenkamper, A. Wahed, A. Kumar, M. do Jong, J. Kroon & Th. Reindi. “The cooling effect of floating PV in two different climate zones: a comparison of field test data from the Netherlands and Singapore”. Solar Energy, Vol. 214, pp. 239-247, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2022.112989.

V. Yashas, A. Bagrecha & S. Dhanush. “Feasibility study of floating solar panels over lakes in Bengaluru City”, in Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers – Smart Infrastructure and Construction, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1680/jsmic.21.00002a

G.P. Giatrakos, T.D. Tsoutsos, P.G. Mouvhtaropoulos, G.D. Naxakis & G. Stavrakakis. “Sustainable energy planning based on a stand-alone hybrid renewable energy/hydrogen power system: Application in Karpathos island, Greece”. Renewable Energy, Vol. 34(12), pp. 2562-2570, 2009. doi:10.1016/j.renene.2009.05.019

V. Ramasamy & R. Margolis. “Floating photovoltaic system cost benchmark: Q1 2021, Installations on artificial water bodies”, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Technical Report NREL/TP-7A40-80695, 2021. https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy22osti/80695.pdf.

E. Solomin, E. Sirotkin, E. Cuce, S. Priya Selvanathan & S. Kumarasamy. “Hybrid floating solar plant designs: A review”. Energies, Vol. 14, pp. 2751, 2021. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14102751.

The electricity system in Crete, 2018, Hellenic Electricity Distributor Network Operator (HEDNO), (in Greek.)

K. Kagarakis. Photovoltaic Technology, Athens, Greece, Symmetria Publications, 1987. (in Greek).

Dams of Greece, Greek committee on large dams, Athens, 2013




How to Cite

John Vourdoubas. (2022). Possibility of Using Floating Solar Photovoltaics in the Hybrid Energy Systems in the Islands of El Hierro, Spain and Crete, Greece. American Academic Scientific Research Journal for Engineering, Technology, and Sciences, 90(1), 461–475. Retrieved from https://asrjetsjournal.org/index.php/American_Scientific_Journal/article/view/8343