BayWa r.e. and its Dutch subsidiary GroenLeven have recently energised two floating solar projects in the Netherlands with a combined capacity of 29.2MWp.
The 13.5MWp Nij Beets park has been developed at a sand extraction lake and has 33,648 modules and a floating structure of more than 2,700 boats and 25 anchor boats. The 15.7MWp Kloosterhaar plant, meanwhile, features 39,256 Astronergy modules.
To maintain biodiversity at the sites, BayWa r.e. is partnering with Dutch organisation IVN, the Institute for Nature Education and Sustainability, to monitor and study plants, while only 23% of the water surface at Nij Beets has been used, leaving space near the banks to protect flora and fauna.
Having completed and sold its largest floating PV plant – the 27.4MWp Bomhofsplas farm – last year, BayWa r.e. has now developed six floating projects in Europe, with a total installed capacity of close to 100MWp.
Benedikt Ortmann, global director of solar projects at BayWa r.e., said floating PV “can be as cost effective as regular ground-mounted solar” over the operation period of 25 to 30 years, adding: “It offers a win-win situation for the environment, local communities and, above all, a cost-effective energy transition.”
As a frontrunner in Europe’s floating solar market, BayWa r.e. is looking to develop 500MW of floating projects in the coming years, as it benefits from declining development costs and increased interest from asset owners. Toni Weigl, product manager for floating PV at BayWa r.e., told PV Tech last year that the firm has been able to take advantage of the “huge appetite” from investors seeking to acquire its completed projects.
BayWa r.e. last month sold a 49% stake in the company to Energy Infrastructure Partners for €530 million, a deal that will see it transition to towards an independent power producer model.