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German Company Builds Floating Solar Farm on Quarry Lake

The first floating solar plant in Germany will go online next month as part of the country’s effort to become less dependable on Russian fossil fuels. 

BayWa r.e. AG,  the company behind the projects, says that the floating photovoltaic plant will be able to provide 3 megawatts of power, which is roughly the same as a standard onshore wind turbine.

According to Reuters, what makes this solar field special is that it is installed on a lake that is part of the privately-owned Quarzwerke quarry.

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The plant, with 5,800 modules on 360 floating elements, will go into service on May 24. It comes as Germany scrambles to find alternative sources of energy and phase out its reliance on Russian oil and gas in the wake of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine. Toni Weigl, head of floating-PV product management at BayWa r.e., said Germany could house around 20 gigawatts (GW) of solar energy on water.

Floating solar farms make a smaller environmental footprint and can be installed much faster and easier than land structures. 

In this case, the floating panels will occupy unused space of the lake that was created by excavating foundry sand.

The solar farm will be able to save 1,100 tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year, for the same amount of power that a fossil fuel plant would produce. 

We may soon see floating solar panels on water reservoirs, where they would help prevent evaporation in the hot season. 

Nikola uses his background in electrical engineering to break down complex sustainability topics for GreenCitizen's readers. He is a firm believer in environmental conservation, which he practices daily through recycling and home-grown food. He enjoys hiking, engaging in white-water sports, and collecting pocket knives.


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