HelioRec’s story – from Beamline Accelerator to first paid projects 

You can easily imagine PV panels on the roof, on the fields, or even on the facades of buildings. But we bet you could barely imagine them fluctuating on the surface of the sea, right? Well, it is time to change your outlook, because now you can put them directly to the water and they will produce energy even more efficiently, than on the rooftop! Let us introduce HelioRec – an innovative French start-up that proved that seas and oceans are no longer limits for solar energy deployment. 

A little bit of story 

The company was created in 2019 by solo-female founder, Polina Vasilenko. Polina followed the path of her family, so she started the career in the Oil & Gas industry, to which she was dedicated until 2016. Then she decided move from “grey field to the green field”, she moved to Germany, where she obtained a master’s degree on Renewable energy, specialization Ocean Energy.  

Later, Polina travelled to the Southern America where she got the inspiration for the future project – there are so many people who need clean energy, and with the constantly population growth, the existing areas are becoming no longer available for renewable energy projects development. Polina  came up with the innovative solution – instead of using conventional surfaces, she decided to install PV panels directly on the top of the waterbodies. She combined her knowledge she obtained from 2 Master programs – “Plastics and Polymer Engineering Technology” and “Ocean Energy” and gave a birth to the innovative company – HelioRec.  

Technology & Projects 

The company invented a novel “hydro-lock” technology that keeps water inside the floater, as water gives additional mass, it gives additional stability, without extra costs and concrete usage. This feature keeps the system simple and cheap. The floating PV plants are usually located near the shoreline, (<100 meters) in order to avoid high waves that may impose the risks to the system stability.  

There is a twofold advantage: 1) it does not occupy land, that can be used for other purposes (agriculture, storage etc) 2) efficiency of PV generation is up to 15-20% higher because of cooling effect that comes from water. On the other hand, the main barrier is the permits obtaining – since the waterbodies are usually in government possession, it may hinder the whole process by 2-3 years.   

Currently HelioRec has 2 projects: The first one of 7 kWp off-grid floating solar power plant for lake purification, located in Russia, on the Lake Ak-Gel. Impressive fact is that is survived wind 90 km/h and frozen water. The project was completed in September 2020. The second one (the first paid project) 10 kWp off-grid floating solar power plant for the Port of Oostende, located in Belgium, completed in January this year. According to the latest updates, it survived winds up to 114 km/h, recently provoked by storm Eunice and inspection showed that everything is working well.  

Sunly is extremely happy to be a part of this type of stories. We work together with investors and industry mentors, we support the novel cleantech start-ups, such as HelioRec to find business opportunities in a world that is moving towards carbon neutrality. If you have an innovative solution that helps to make our world greener, contact us now