As the world becomes more serious about going green, newer methods are being used for generating renewable energy. One of them is solar power. According to recent news, Europe’s largest floating solar park is almost ready to go online.
What Is A Floating Solar Park?
Before we delve further into the details of this project, it is worth discussing what a solar park is?
A floating solar park is essentially a large array of solar panels connected together which floats on the surface of a gargantuan water reservoir.
Mostly, lakes and dams provide the ideal setting for such solar parks so countries rich in such resources can utilize them with ease.
What Makes A Floating Solar Park So Unique?
A floating water park is extremely unique in that it reduces the dependence on a flat ground surface.
This means that for setting up a solar power generation plant, the need for a piece of land is completely removed.
Where Is This Located?
Europe’s largest floating solar park is located in Portugal and has been set up on the Alqueva reservoir which is the largest artificial lake in Western Europe.
Besides this, the floating solar park is also spread over the Alqueva Dam constructed on the Guadiana River.
How Big Is It?
When we say that it is the largest floating solar park in the whole of Europe, we mean it. That’s why it is equal to the size of four soccer fields.
Production & Storage Capacity Of The Floating Solar Park
To cover this huge area, the floating solar park is equipped with 12,000 solar panels. Combined, these panels will produce a total of 7.5 GWh of energy per year.
However, this project won’t be of much benefit if this much power is produced only during the day and can’t be stored. That’s why a storage capacity of 2 GWh has also been linked to this setup.
How Many Households Will It Power?
The floating solar farm has been built by EDP which holds the title of being the largest utility company in Portugal. EDP claims that it will be able to power as many as 1,500 households with this massive arrangement.
What Is EDP & Why Is It So Imperative?
EDP is vital for Portugal because the company aims at reaching the net-zero benchmark by 2030 which will be a huge success for the company.
It is already playing a key role in keeping the environment green by offering 78% renewable energy out of its 25.6 GW capacity.
Another Floating Solar Park On Its Way?
The company recently received another permit to construct a second floating solar farm at this lake. It will have a capacity of 70 MW.
Advantages & Disadvantages
Such floating solar park projects have two main benefits which are:
- First of all, they help in producing a large amount of renewable energy;
- The second benefit is that they cover the underlying water, which protects it from direct sunlight. This means that the amount of water leaving such water sources due to evaporation is greatly reduced.
The main disadvantage of such setups is their expensive setting up cost. This is because such solar panels float on water and thus a proper mechanism is required for them.
Such floating solar parks are the way to go because they are revolutionizing how solar energy projects are no longer dependent on flat ground surfaces. Rather, they can now be set up even on water.