France can pride itself on the launch of its O’MEGA1 floating solar plant in Piolenc, France. With a capacity of 17 MW this project is unique in Europe and stands out as the largest plant based on floating solar technology which can be assembled on natural water reservoirs, industrial pools or quarry lakes. With such a versatile and adaptive design and functionality, O’MEGA1 contributes to the usage of wetlands and agricultural lands through its sustainable technology.
The floating solar plant has been in use since 18 October 2019, but its creators, Akuo Energy, debuted the works on the project in 2014. One year from now, the floating solar plant is expected to produce energy for 4,733 homes, a significant yet humble number compared to the 1 million homes powered by the Beatrice wind farm in Scotland which powers over 450,000 homes.
However, studies made by World Bank demonstrate that the use of only 1% of the artificial reservoir surface for installing floating solar plants, would result in a production of 400 GW a year, Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of Solar Power Europe asserted.
Furthermore, Akuo Energy made a deal with Plüm Energie, the local electricity supplier, to create a green energy label which will guarantee the supply of 100% renewable ‘made in France’ electricity to customers.
Besides this project in France, six other floating solar plant projects are undergoing implementation in Belgium and similar projects are also expected to emerge in Portugal.