RWE makes floating solar debut with 6.1MWp project in the Netherlands

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The Amer floating PV plant will be installed on a lake and feature 13,400 solar panels. Image: RWE.

German utility RWE has selected the site of a biomass and coal-fired power plant in the Netherlands for its first floating solar project, which will have a capacity of 6.1MWp and be commissioned by the end of 2021.

With construction slated to start in August, the Amer PV park will feature 13,400 panels that will float on a lake in Geertruidenberg, in the province of Noord-Brabant.

The plant will see RWE add a “promising technology” to its portfolio as it looks to advance the utilisation of renewables, said Katja Wünschel, COO of wind onshore and solar PV Europe & APAC at RWE Renewables. “Realising the project will also deepen our knowledge about technical possibilities of floating PV, such as scalability and energy output,” she said.

RWE carried out the first phase of the Solar Park Amer in 2018, installing a 0.5MWp project consisting of more than 2,000 PV panels on the roof of its Amer power plant.

The park is now being expanded with the floating installation as well as a 2.3MWp ground-mounted PV project that is currently being constructed and is expected to be complete in August 2021. The three installations will feature a total of 21,000 panels and combined capacity of around 9MWp.

Roger Miesen, CEO of RWE Generation, said: “Both new PV projects show that we can turn conventional asset sites into landmark projects that promote innovative solutions for a sustainable electricity system.”

After carrying €2 billion capital raise last August to help expand its renewables pipeline, RWE said it was on track to increase its solar and wind portfolio to 10GW by the end of 2020.

The utility’s move into floating solar sees it join the likes of BayWa r.e., which has already developed seven floating PV plants in the Netherlands, the largest of which has a capacity of 27.4MWp and was sold to a Dutch consortium last year.

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