Portugal Set To Start the Largest Floating Solar Park in Europe

By: | May 17th, 2022

Solar panels transported by two tugboats (Image courtesy: EDP)

Europe’s largest floating solar power plant is fully operational now. It is ready to generate electricity in July.

Built by Portugal’s main utility Energias de Portugal (EDP), the solar farm is located on the Alqueva hydroelectric dam’s reservoir. The Dam is located on the Guadiana River, one of the longest in the Iberian Peninsula.

Following are some of its features

  • The floating solar farm consists of 12,000 solar panels.
  • Alqueva Reservoir’s floating solar farm will generate 7.5 GWh annually.
  • It will also be connected to lithium batteries capable of storing 2 GWh. 
  • It will be able to provide electricity to about 1,500 households. 
  • This floating solar farm will help drive EDP’s goal of achieving zero emissions by 2030. 

The solar power plant has been moved to its place

Preparations to create this floating solar park have taken a huge step forward. Two tugboats diverted these vast solar panels (the size of four football fields) to a mooring on Portugal’s Alqueva reservoir.

Reducing dependency on Fossil Fuels

European thermal coal prices have more than doubled since the start of the war in Ukraine. So, Portugal plans to cut its reliance on imported fossil fuels. At present, Portugal consumes about 10% of natural gas from Russia. This floating solar farm will help in reducing this dependency.

The first project in Europe with a combination of hydro and solar energy

The floating hydroelectric solar farms will also be connected to existing grid lines.

Miguel Patena, EDP group director in charge of the solar project, said, “This project is the biggest floating solar park in a hydro dam in Europe, it is a very good benchmark,”

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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