Space for building solar farms is scarce in the Netherlands. One solution is to construct floating solar farms, for example on ponds and pools that form as the result of sand and gravel extraction. Through this initiative, Vattenfall is helping to bring demand for power in line with sustainable generation. An additional benefit is that the water cools the panels naturally, which increases their efficiency compared to land-based solar panels.
At the site in Gendringen, where Netterden, Vattenfall´s partner in the project, has been extracting sand and gravel for twenty-five years, there is an electric sand pump in the water. Together with the associated sorting and processing equipment it consumes around 2.5 million kilowatt-hours per year. Over the years, the extraction activities have created a pond on which an island with floating solar panels will be built. This solar farm will meet half of the site’s power demand.
“At Vattenfall, our mission is to make fossil-free living possible within one generation.
Our shared ambition for a sustainable future has brought us together in this project. I believe it is special that Netterden’s decision to launch this project is driven by their vision regarding socially responsible enterprise. Renewable energy is a natural part of this,” says Ivo Iprenburg, Business Development Manager Real Estate at Vattenfall.
Vattenfall is the prime contractor and is overseeing the entire process, while Netterden is providing the funding. Construction will start in late 2019. The solar island is expected to be operational by May 2020.