Floating solar and its role in the energy transition
Floating-PV has an important role to play in the energy transition. With its many reservoirs and other areas of unused bodies of water, there’s huge potential for Spain to benefit from this green form of energy generation.
From disused coal quarries and mineral extraction pits to unused reservoirs, floating solar systems can deliver cheap, reliable, renewable electricity, help countries with carbon reduction targets, and reduce the need for land-based installations. It also allows owners of artificial lakes to make the most of these and create new income streams.
Market leader in Floating-PV
The experience we have gained from building Floating-PV projects has given us unique know-how in the floating solar farm market, and the technology represents an important part of our strategy.
Since the launch of the first floating-PV park pilot in the Netherlands in 2018, BayWa r.e. has installed a total Floating-PV capacity of almost 200 MWp.
In 2020, we completed the largest floating-PV park outside Asia: the 27.4MWp Bomhofplas plant. Since then, we’ve delivered a 29.8 MWp installation in Uivermeertjes and the 41.1MWp Sellingen project.
Huge potential in Spain
Spain presents a particularly strong opportunity to benefit from this technology. Spain has more than 1,225 reservoirs, some of which are among the largest in Europe.
Installing Floating-PV can offer a new, or often second, life to many of these sites, and to other unused bodies of water.The technology represents a reliable, long-term, sustainable method of electricity generation, with minimal impact on marine life. The potential for electricity generation in floating installations is very high – and as Spain is one of the sunniest countries in Europe, it makes perfect sense for it to maximise its benefits.
Floating-PV for areas of 50+ hectares will soon be feasible in Spain, without the need for any subsidies or state funding. For smaller installations, tenders focusing on innovation and technology will be a route to further pave the way for the technology. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says Floating solar in Spain offers a potential 3 GWp, with a yield of 1,745 MWh/MWp - equivalent to the consumption of 1.327.333 homes/a. This could save 2,392,697 tons of CO2/a, compared to modern gas plants.
One of the largest floating-PV parks in Germany
In 2022, BayWa r.e. implemented what is currently one of the largest Floating-PV plants in Germany. With a combined installed rated output of around 3 megawatt-peak, the plant produces around 3 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year, saving around 1,100 tons of CO2 emissions annually.
This serves to demonstrate our commitment to renewables, as well as to providing long-term employment opportunities.
Solar energy is a key contributor in reducing CO2 emissions and a great opportunity for job growth, for innovation and for the economy.
As a full-service provider, we handle everything from project development, planning, procurement, financing, and turnkey construction, right through to the commissioning and operational management.
We bring our skills and experience in Floating-PV to your project, across its full life cycle:
- Planning and technical consulting
- Reporting and analysis
- Project development
- Procurement from long-term partners
- Turnkey construction
- Direct marketing
- Power purchase agreements (PPAs)
- Operational management
Floating-PV offers considerable advantages
- PV systems protect the water body from high water evaporation and increased algae growth, especially in summer. It also prevents winds from eroding the shores.
- Faster installation, and lower production and maintenance costs compared to land-mounted plants, offset initial investment costs of Floating-PV systems.
- Such installations can deliver higher potential yields thanks to the water-cooling effect and enable owners of artificial lakes to make better commercial use of their water surfaces.
- Floating-PV can deliver reduced evaporation, an extra benefit especially for hydraulic or pump storage facilities and water reservoirs. They reduce the need for land-based plants, which can be contentious if the land is needed for other purposes.
Image Gallery of our Floating-PV systems
Our certified Floating-PV solution
Having determined that there was no Floating-PV system on the market that met our requirements and standards, we developed a new substructure together with the renowned Zimmermann PV-Stahlbau GmbH technology experts. This was ideally complemented by our certified electrical and mechanical system design. Find out more here
Do you have a water surface available?
We are interested in artificial and unused bodies of water (such as decommissioned brown coal and sand quarries, artificial reservoirs).