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Energy company RWE has put its first floating solar farm into operation. The farm has a peak capacity of 6.1MW and consists of approximately 13,400 solar panels floating on a lake next to the Amer power plant in Geertruidenberg, the Netherlands.
Editorial office / Geertruidenberg

The solar panels are located on a lake that was used for cooling water a long time ago and is not directly connected to the nearby Amer River. To prevent the panels from floating away in strong winds and colliding with the surrounding dike, they are anchored at 104 points to 52 concrete blocks sunk into the bottom of the lake. These blocks weigh 4.6 tonnes each. A total of 25 kilometres of cable was used to electrically connect the panels to the shore. The electricity produced will be added to the power network of the power station, which already produces 80% renewable energy from biomass.

Amer solar farm

In 2018, RWE developed the first phase of Solar Farm Amer, installing over 2,000 0.5 MWp solar panels on the power plant’s roof. In 2021, RWE further expanded the capacity with solar panels on the ground. These 5,760 panels have been in operation since last summer. With the commissioning of the floating part, the total capacity of Zonnepark Amer has increased from 0.5 to 9 MWp, enough to supply an average of 2,300 Dutch households with electricity.

“The floating solar farm at the Amer power plant is the first for RWE and it adds a new, promising technology to our portfolio,” said Katja Wünschel, CEO Wind and Solar on Land Europe & Australia, RWE Renewables. Roger Miesen, CEO of RWE Generation, said: “RWE is demonstrating how conventional power plants can be used to generate renewable energy. The Netherlands is an important market for RWE and we will continue to actively contribute to the further expansion of a sustainable power network by producing renewable, CO2-free and flexible energy in our country.

In addition to solar parks, RWE operates several onshore wind farms in the Netherlands with a total capacity of more than 330 MW.

Image: RWE