Guillermo Fernández Vara, President of the Junta (Regional Government) of Extremadura, and ACCIONA President José Manuel Entrecanales have inaugurated the first grid-connected floating photovoltaic solar plant in Spain on the Sierra Brava reservoir (Extremadura).
First grid-connected floating photovoltaic solar plant
The Sierra Brava photovoltaic plant is an innovative demonstration project that will allow the study of a range of technical solutions for the installation of solar panels on lakes or reservoirs. It consists of 3,000 photovoltaic modules of different types, distributed across five floating structures with different layouts, orientation and inclination. The aim is to analyse their performance in terms of production and the installation and maintenance costs of the different solutions.
The Sierra Brava plant is located on the southern shore of the Sierra Brava reservoir in the municipality of Zorita (Cáceres) and covers 12,000m2, i.e. 0.07% of the total surface area of the reservoir (1,650 hectares).
The 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.
Emerging photovoltaic technologies
ACCIONA’s new floating plant has been designed as a technology demonstrator for the testing of a range of solar panels, inclinations and floating systems in a combined manner and in a real environment. Among the most novel elements are the double-sided panels, modules with a transparent rear surface to allow sunlight to act on the reverse side, and the totally vertical layout with an inclination of 90 degrees.
The installation will allow conclusions to be drawn on the behaviour of the different layouts and the cost-efficiency ratio obtained to find the best combination when it comes to developing floating photovoltaic plants in a specific environment of sunlight hours, wind and humidity conditions.