BayWa Building Europe’s Largest Floating Solar Farm in Netherlands

BayWa is constructing the world’s largest floating PV installation outside of China, consisting of nearly 73,000 PV modules, 13 floating transformers and 192 inverter boats, on a sandpit lake in Zwolle in the Netherlands. 

Dr. Benedikt Ortmann, global director of Solar Projects at BayWa, stated: “In the past one and a half year we have delivered over 25MWp of floating solar, making us Europe’s leading floating solar developer. Thanks to the wealth of experience we are now constructing this solar farm at an incredible rate, not seen before.”

“In only two weeks we have built 8MW of the project, peaking at constructing 1MW a day. That’s quite a significant increase in speed of delivery, enabling more green energy to be produced quicker.”

The project is not only breaking boundaries in its delivery time, it is also being constructed to new best practice standards, with the entire construction of the Bomhofsplas solar farm almost completely carbon free. The project is said to be highly self-sufficient with electric vehicles, tools and boats charged through the first part of the solar farm and an onsite 600kW battery.

In addition to utilising underused space and creating opportunity for owners of artificial lakes, floating solar has some benefits over ground mounted solar. These include easier installation, higher potential yields thanks to the water-cooling effect and lower O&M costs.

Benedikt added: “Our ability to deliver floating solar farms in such a short space of time is an exciting new opportunity for Europe and its bid to be carbon free by 2050. However, when it comes to floating solar you have to use the right long-lasting technology.”

In partnership with Zimmermann PV-Stahlbau, BayWa has designed its own specialist and highly engineered floating system. The patented ‘Zim Float’ system is capable of withstanding high wind, waves and snow and creates a safe structure for ongoing operations and maintenance.

When complete, this will be the fourth floating solar farm BayWa has built in one and a half year. The company has already constructed and realised the nearby 14.5MWp Sekdoorn project, the 8.4MWp Tynaarlo project as well as the 2.1MWp Weperpolder installation.