Belgium: Flemish government supports floating PV to the tune of €4.1 million

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The Energy Minister of the Belgian region of Flanders, Bart Tommelein, has announced that the Flemish government will support another six floating PV projects with a combined capacity of 11.1 MW.

Overall, these new projects will receive €4.1 million of public support, while each project will be entitled to receive a maximum of 25% of the eligible costs.

Three projects are set to be located near Dilsen-Stokkem, a municipality located in the eastern Belgian province of Limburg: a 1.2 MW project under development by Terhills NV, a unit of local investment firm Limburgse Investeringsmaatschappij LRM, which is expected to receive funds in the amount of €503,000; a 5 MW project planned by Steengoed Projecten cvba, that received €1.86 million in public funding; and a 2.5 MW floating PV array under construction by Beauvent cvba, which is eligible for subsidies in the amount of €800,000.

The latter is also being financed through crowdfunding and is intended to test whether floating solar panels are able to reduce algae growth in a drinking water basin.

Furthermore, the Flemish government has agreed to provide public support to a 1.14 MW project in Kallo, a municipality in the Belgian province of East Flanders. The floating plant is being developed by local logistics group Adpo NV and is expected to receive funds to the tune of €436,000. “This is project pilot project at a port dock aimed at determining whether these locations are suitable for floating solar panels,” the Flemish government said.

Another 1.17 project is set to be located in Wuustwezel, in the north of the Belgian province of Antwerp. Local company BBM NV has secured a total of €408,000 for the project from the Flemish government.

The last project is a 325 kW project located in Niel, also in the province of Antwerp, for which its developer, POM Antwerpen, has secured €99,000.

Each of the solar projects has an innovative character and tests a number of innovations, Tommelein said in his statement. As innovations, the minister cites lightweight solar panels, bifacial panels with active cooling, special anchoring in the soil and verges – raft structures that are resistant to large water level fluctuations, snow load and ice pressure.

Two more floating PV projects were selected for public support in October. Tommelein launched the €6 million program to support pilot floating PV projects in April.