Floating solar park begins commercial operations in Germany


From pv magazine Germany.

Solar developer 7C Solarparken has energized its first floating PV system in Germany, on a lake near Salzwedel, in the eastern region of Lower Saxony.

The Association of Municipal Water Supply and Wastewater Treatment Salzwedel uses the lake as a temporary water store – a function which does not affect operation of the PV system. With solar modules covering ​​around 6,800m2, the PV system has a generation capacity of 729 kW.

The floating array was installed by Solar WO Engineering with modules from Chinese manufacturer Longi and string inverters from Huawei. The floating structures were supplied by French specialist Ciel & Terre and German power trader Next Kraftwerke will integrate generation from the plant into its virtual power plant using a protocol interface.

Plastic mounting structures keep almost 2,000 modules afloat and feature a bridge on which cables connecting the system to the power grid have been placed. A bespoke anchor design, with 43 steel cables attached to the bank, ensures the system stays in place, with the fastening system also taking wind and snow loads into account.

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“The construction of the plant went very smoothly and we also believe that the installation is relatively easy to maintain,” said 7C Solarparken chief executive Steven De Proost.

Although Germany has seen limited floating solar deployment to date, big plans are being laid to install PV on bodies of water at former coal mining sites.

A study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems for renewables developer Baywa re calculated lignite open-cast ponds in Germany could host 56 GW of floating PV capacity.

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