HelioRec with their project "Floating Solar Power Plant"
The fifth "ocean tribute" Award was presented to HelioRec with their project "Floating Solar Power Plant". The prize money of 20,000 Euros is provided by the Fürst Albert II Foundation and boot Düsseldorf.
What is HelioRec?
HelioRec was created in 2019 by solo-female founder, Polina Vasilenko.
Polina began her career in the oil and gas industry, mixing and pumping cement in the middle of Siberia. After 14 years in the industry, she was brave enough to change direction from the "black side" and apply her hands-on experience to renewable energy.
Solar is one of the most mature renewable energy technologies, but problems persist because traditional solar panels require a large amount of land that many countries do not have available.
The HelioRec team developed an idea for how to place solar panels on water in a cost- and eco-efficient way, specifically for near-shore locations (where 50% of the global population lives).
Polina Vasilenko, founder of HelioRec
Why is your project of importance?
We transform unused water space into a home for clean energy generation. The main goals of the project are to save the land space in a port area, generate a clean source of energy, charge electrical vehicles (EVs) and electrical boats (EBs) with ECSs and implement novel digital services for data prediction and optimization.
What makes the HelioRec project so special?
We install solar panels on the water that are not only extremely cost-efficient but also environmentally friendly. Our focus is on near-shore locations (at sea), where half of the global population live. Where does the project stand today and what are the next steps? For example, is it already in use and where?
We have installed two small-scale projects. One is a floating solar system on Lake Ak-Gel, which is located in the centre of Makhachkala, Russia. The other project is a 10kWp floating solar system in Belgium. The system is designed for 44 m/s wind speed and 2 m waves and it has already weathered two storms with wind speeds of 114 km/h. Our next plan is to install bigger-scale projects across Europe.
How will you use the funding from the "ocean tribute" Award?
We will use the funding for further improving our technology, for testing as well as for new installations.
What does the project mean to you personally? What is it that motivates you?
It means a lot to me, since my career path started in an oil and gas company. But I then decided to change my direction to renewables. I wanted to make a positive impact. And I want to install as many power plants as possible and compensate CO2 emissions.
My successes are my principle motivating factor. When I see one of our projects built in a real-life situation, it drives me to continue my work and further development.
What is your vision for the future?
My vision is to become the leader in floating solar technology and to provide a clean, affordable energy source to people worldwide.