Netherlands: Newly created consortium to develop floating PV

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Waterschap Rivierland, the water authority of the Dutch provincies of Zuid-Holland, Gelderland, Noord-Brabant and Utrecht, has joined forces with Dutch companies Blue21 and Hakkers NV, and with the Photovoltaic Materials and Devices (PVMD) unit of Netherlands’ Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) to develop a new floating PV technology dubbed Innozowa.

The consortium, which is also being financially supported by the government-run Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), aims to develop a flexible design of floating solar panels on inland waters and make optimal use of the available surface area, “all at a competitive price”.

Waterschap Rivierland said that the water-rich Netherlands, which has around 52,000 hectares of shallow inland water, offers a huge potential for floating PV applications.

The first pilot project, the agency went on to say, will be implemented at a water reservoir in Weurt, near the town of Nijmegen in the province of Gelderland. “With the results of this pilot project, we expect to have sufficient data and experience to further scale up the plan,” Waterschap Rivierland stressed.

Construction on Netherlands’ first floating PV plant started in September. The project is being developed at the port of Rotterdam by Dutch water management agency Rijkswaterstaat, which is part of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, and Port of Rotterdam Authority.

Rijkswaterstaat announced in March it intended to make water surfaces and other land under its control available for the installation of PV and other renewable energy power plants.