May 3, 2023
Trina Solar Co., Ltd., a leading global PV and smart energy total solution provider, has started deliveries for a 67.5MWp system-level PV project in Topoje, Albania. The company has been selected to provide both its ultra-high performance Vertex dual-glass bifacial modules and its new Vanguard 1P single-row tracker. The project represents Trina Solar’s strategy to offer integrated solutions and is one of the first in Europe to implement Vanguard 1P.
Located in the Southwestern lowlands of Albania, in Sheq – Marinas Fier, one of the regions with the highest solar radiation in the country, this ground-mounted array named Project Blue is developed and executed by Albanian firms Blessed Investment and Matrix Konstruksion. It is due for completion in December 2023. Trina Solar provides a full array of Vanguard 1P trackers, combined with Vertex DEG21C.20 dual-glass bifacial PV modules in 650W and 655W configurations, with an installed capacity of 67.5MWp. The power plant has a projected energy yield of 108,000 MWh per year and is the first utility-scale solar project to be carried out in the Balkans region without any kind of government subsidy.
Crucially, the project also includes tracker monitoring software, as well as ongoing technical support, representing an integrated solution and demonstrating Trina Solar’s capabilities as a system-level provider.
Trina Solar has had to overcome a series of challenges to bring the project to fruition. Due to its coastal location, the site is susceptible to high wind loads and salt spray, and lies in an area of swampy terrain prone to flooding. The company carried out in-depth climatological tests to review wind and snow loads and salt spray exposure, before working out the system layout and dynamics. For the swampy terrain, micropiles will be employed to ensure a firm foundation and ensure stability throughout the projected system lifetime of 30+ years. The choice of dual-glass PV modules means the installation will be highly resistant to the tough conditions.
Besnik Leskaj, President of Blessed Investment, said: “Our goal is to generate clean energy and reduce our carbon footprint, providing a sustainable future for Albania. Project Blue is ambitious and brings renewed solar energy capabilities to Albania and the Balkans region. There were many hurdles to overcome, so we are pleased Trina Solar has come on board as a valued partner to help make it happen. We are particularly proud of the impact this project will have in Albania.”
Arian Leskaj, president of Matrix Konstruksion, commented: “I would like to specifically emphasize our collaboration with Trina Solar. It has been fruitful and enjoyable at the same time. We have managed to share capabilities and know-how which we think has been key to this successful cooperation. The team has taken all necessary steps to ensure long-term success, with the combined durability of the dual-glass Vertex modules and Vanguard 1P trackers set to be highly effective even in the site’s challenging coastal conditions. The monitoring software and ongoing consultancy support will also be hugely beneficial in ensuring Project Blue is successful well into the future. We intend to expand our business with Trina Solar, from an EPC and investor perspective in new and ongoing projects in Albania, and also anywhere the opportunity arises.”
Gonzalo de la Viña, President EMEA at Trina Solar, said: “This project is another major development in our growth in Eastern Europe, particularly regarding our ability to deliver system-level solutions that cover the full process from initial consultation, all the way through to design, implementation, and post-project support. This ensures the system is fully optimised and the various components are perfectly integrated with one another, given all products come from Trina Solar. That is the direction we are heading as a business, and most definitely this will act as a springboard for similar projects in the European market in the near future.”