BayWa r.e. Commissions Largest Floating Solar Power Plant in Central Europe Through ECOwind Subsidiary
- BayWa r.e., through its Austrian subsidiary ECOwind, has commissioned the fourth-largest floating solar power plant in Europe, with a peak capacity of 24.5 MW, located in Grafenwörth, Lower Austria. This photovoltaic system is estimated to generate 26.7 GWh of electricity annually, providing power to 7,500 households in the region.
BayWa r.e.'s subsidiary ECOwind has put into operation the fourth-largest floating solar power plant in Europe, located in Grafenwörth, Lower Austria. The facility has a peak capacity of 24.5 MW, and covers a total area of 14 hectares across two adjacent artificial lakes - North Pond and South Pond. The 45,304 solar modules were installed in just ten weeks, and the facility is expected to generate 26.7 GWh of electricity annually, enough to power 7,500 households in the region. According to ECOwind’s Managing Director Johann Janker, the floating-PV solar application allows for the use of otherwise underutilised expanses of water in environments where space is limited. (Source: https://www.pv-magazine.com/2021/05/17/baywa-re-commissions-largest-floating-solar-power-plant-in-central-europe/)
Why does it matter?
The installation of this floating solar power plant is significant, as it has the potential to reduce carbon emissions and help meet local electricity needs sustainably. This project is also a testament to the rapid advancement of renewable energy technology, as the 45,304 solar modules were installed in just ten weeks. Additionally, research on the local fish population and dragonfly fauna will be conducted regularly over several years, to ensure the project’s integration into the surrounding ecosystem.
Including Grafenwörth, BayWa r.e. has now completed a total of 15 floating photovoltaic projects with an overall 230 MW in capacity throughout the world. Europe's three biggest floating solar power plants are located in the Netherlands and are owned by BayWa r.e.'s Dutch subsidiary GroenLeven. These projects are placed on former sand pits, and their placement ensures that the lake water underneath them is the deepest, to avoid impacting biodiversity. The advantages of these floating photovoltaic parks are that they don't take up land, while also preventing water evaporation. With the success of this project, BayWa r.e. and other companies may be encouraged to pursue similar initiatives in the future.