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, Might 5, 2022. Image taken Might 5, 2022. Image taken with a drone. REUTERS/Miguel Pereira

ALQUEVA, Portugal: Two tugboats have moved an enormous array of 12,000 photo voltaic panels, the scale 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 predominant utility EDP on Western Europe’s greatest 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 regardless that Portugal makes use of virtually no Russian hydrocarbons, its gas-fired energy vegetation nonetheless really feel the squeeze of rising gasoline costs.

Miguel Patena, EDP group director answerable for the photo voltaic challenge, mentioned 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 value 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 challenge is the largest floating photo voltaic park in a hydro dam in Europe, it’s a excellent benchmark,” Patena mentioned.

 

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 priceless actual property and people on reservoirs used for hydropower are notably value efficient as they will hook as much as current hyperlinks to the facility 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 evening.

EDP govt board member Ana Paula Marques mentioned the warfare in Ukraine confirmed the necessity to speed up the shift to renewables

She mentioned the Alqueva challenge 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 challenge 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 broaden the Alqueva challenge. It secured the proper in April to construct a second floating farm with 70 MW put in capability.