Belgium’s first floating PV project comes online


Flemish minister of energy Zuhal Demir has announced, on Twitter, the start of operations at Belgium’s first floating solar power plant.

The €2 million project, announced in October 2018, was built by Belgian developer Floating PV NV on five hectares of a lake created by sand extraction owned by Belgian raw material provider Sibelco, in Dessel, Antwerp province. The floating array is expected to generate sufficient electricity to meet around 80% of the extraction site’s power demand.

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Belgian energy company Luminus and environmental services business Machiels were partners in the project, along with Dutch investment fund LRM.

The generation facility is being supported by a €6 million program to pilot floating PV projects that was opened in April 2018. The Flemish government said at the time, the first projects would be developed on lakes or ponds not used for other purposes, such as bodies of water created by sand extraction. “We are going to place solar modules where there is just water, not on natural reserves or water surfaces that offer recreational opportunities,” said then-energy minister Bart Tommelein.

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