Portugal set to begin up Europe’s largest floating photo voltaic park

Aerial view of EDP’s (Energias de Portugal) largest floating photo voltaic farm on a dam in Europe, on the floor of Alqueva dam, in Moura, Portugal, Could 5, 2022. Image taken Could 5, 2022. Image taken with a drone. REUTERS/Miguel Pereira

ALQUEVA, Portugal: Two tugboats have moved an unlimited array of 12,000 photo voltaic panels, the dimensions of 4 soccer pitches, to their mooring on Portugal’s Alqueva reservoir in preparation to begin up Europe’s largest floating photo voltaic park in July.

Constructed by the nation’s essential utility EDP on Western Europe’s largest synthetic lake, the shiny floating island is a part of Portugal’s plan to chop reliance on imported fossil fuels whose costs have surged since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Blessed by lengthy hours of sunshine and Atlantic winds, Portugal has accelerated its shift to renewables. However although Portugal makes use of nearly no Russian hydrocarbons, its gas-fired energy vegetation nonetheless really feel the squeeze of rising gasoline costs.

Miguel Patena, EDP group director accountable for the photo voltaic undertaking, stated on Thursday when the tugboats moved the panels into place that electrical energy produced from the floating park, with put in capability of 5 megawatts (MW), would price a 3rd of that produced from a gas-fired plant.

The panels on the Alqueva reservoir, which is used to generate hydropower, would produce 7.5 gigawatt/hours (GWh) of electrical energy a yr, and could be complemented by lithium batteries to retailer 2 GWh.

The photo voltaic panels will provide 1,500 households with energy or a 3rd of the wants of the close by cities of Moura and Portel.

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“This undertaking is the most important floating photo voltaic park in a hydro dam in Europe, it’s a superb benchmark,” Patena stated.


Photo voltaic panels mounted on pontoons on lakes or at sea have been put in in vary of locations from California to polluted industrial ponds in China, within the struggle to chop CO2 emissions.

Floating panels don’t require precious actual property and people on reservoirs used for hydropower are significantly price efficient as they’ll hook as much as current hyperlinks to the ability grid. Extra energy generated on sunny days can pump water up into the lake to be saved to be used on cloudy days or at night time.

EDP government board member Ana Paula Marques stated the conflict in Ukraine confirmed the necessity to speed up the shift to renewables

She stated the Alqueva undertaking was a part of EDP’s technique “to go 100% inexperienced by 2030”, with hydropower and different renewables now accounting for 78% of EDP’s 25.6 GW of put in capability.

In 2017, EDP put in a pilot floating photo voltaic undertaking with 840 panels on the Alto Rabagao dam, the primary in Europe to check how hydro and solar energy might complement one another.

EDP already has plans to develop the Alqueva undertaking. It secured the appropriate in April to construct a second floating farm with 70 MW put in capability.