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EDF begins work on 20 MW floating PV plant in France

From pv magazine France

EDF Renouvelables, the renewable energy unit of French energy company EDF, has begun construction of its first floating photovoltaic power plant in France, on a water reservoir at the Lazer hydroelectric plant in the southwestern department of Hautes-Alpes.

The facility will cover an area of ​​24.5ha, which corresponds approximately to two-thirds of the surface of the water reservoir, for a total capacity of 20 MWp. The project is expected to be commissioned in the spring of 2022 and will double the production capacity of the hydropower plant.

“Thanks to this innovative technology, the same water reservoir will produce hydroelectricity and solar electricity. Combining these two renewable energies is an additional advantage in contributing to the renewable energy development objectives set by the government,” said Nicolas Couderc, director France of EDF Renouvelables. “The Lazer floating solar power plant is also contributing to the success of EDF’s solar plan.” This plan is aimed at making EDF one of the leaders in photovoltaics in France, with a 30% market share by 2035.

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The floating array will cover around two-thirds of the Lazer reservoir.

Started in 2017, the Lazer project was developed through a dialogue with the territory and the local communities, according to EDF. Numerous technical and environmental studies have been carried out to ensure the preservation of the site’s biodiversity and the continuity of electricity production from the Lazer hydroelectric plant. 

The installation of the anchors necessary for the installation of the floating panels will be carried out in spring 2021 and will be followed by the installation of the floats and the photovoltaic panels. According to the French group, the work will mobilize 40 people on the site for a period of 13 months.

The project will be larger than a utility scale floating project built in France by independent power producer Akuo Energy. That plant has a capacity of 17 MW and was deployed near Piolenc, in the Vaucluse department of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region of southern France.

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Source: pv magazine