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Spain’s first grid-connected floating solar plant opened

Spanish energy firm Acciona has announced the inauguration of Spain’s first grid-connected solar plant, a 1.1MW 12,000 square-meter facility on the Sierra Brava reservoir, in Extramadura.

The plant is a demonstration project that will allow the study of a range of technical solutions for floating solar, and consists of 3,000 modules of different types, including double-sided panels, and a totally vertical layout, distributed across five floating structures with different layouts, orientation and inclination.

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The aim is to analyse their performance in terms of production and the installation and maintenance costs of the different solutions. 

Guillermo Fernàƒ¡ndez Vara, President of the Junta (Regional Government) of Extremadura, and Acciona President José Manuel Entrecanales inaugurated the plant.

The installation will see the study of the different layouts, and the cost-efficiency ratios obtained to find the best combination for floating photovoltaic plants relative to sunlight hours, wind and humidity conditions. 

Environmental protection measures in the project include the installation of two floating ‘islands’ to encourage birds to nest and the provision of nesting boxes for the lesser kestrel (Falco naumanni), a protected species that lives in the area. The monitoring programme will examine the interaction between the birds and the fish stock in the reservoir with the plant and the support measures.

The conclusions reached from the different solutions tested in this pioneering plant will serve as a basis for Acciona in its development of commercial projects.