The Netherlands has installed floating solar panels on sandpit lakes and artificial lakes. The one at Bomhpofsplas, close to Zwolle, is set to be the largest in Europe. This 27.4 MWp (1) plant will be the largest of its type in Europe and, excluding China, the world. It is being built by Baywa, a Munich-based company. Construction has already started and is due to be completed in eight weeks. This plant, and the smaller ones preceding it, show that aquatic surfaces can be used for electricity production. There will be 73,000 solar panels on the sandpit lake, thirteen floating transformer stations and auxiliary equipment.
These types of plant present advantages over land-based solar farms. They are easier to install, their yield is higher (thanks to the cooling effect of water), and their operating and maintenance costs are lower. Baywa is also developing a “ZimFloat” system which makes panels resistant to wind, waves and the weight of snow.
- MWp: Megawatt-peak: unit for measuring solar panel electricity production.