In the coming weeks, BayWa r.e. will implement what is currently one of the largest Floating-PV plants in Germany for the family-owned company Quarzwerke GmbH, specialists in the extraction, processing and refining of industrial minerals, at their site in the city of Haltern am See.
The plant is being built on the Silbersee III lake adjacent to the plant site on an area of just under 1.8 hectares. Once completed, around 5,800 photovoltaic modules will have a combined installed rated output of around 3 megawatt-peak and will produce around 3 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year. This will save around 1,100 tons of CO2 each year.
Quarzwerke intends to use 75 percent of the green electricity for themselves to further reduce their CO2 footprint. In addition, the Floating-PV system will enable the company to become independent of rising energy and CO2 prices. The surplus green electricity is to be fed into the public grid.
Daniel Duric, plant manager at Quarzwerke Haltern, comments on another successful project: “Following the construction of two highly efficient combined heat and power plants in recent years, we are investing further in the sustainable ecological future of the company with one of Germany’s largest floating photovoltaic plants. By using the green electricity we produce ourselves, we can significantly reduce our CO2 emissions.” Project manager Markus Schramm adds: “This puts us in a leading position in terms of sustainability and allows us to further reduce our carbon footprint as a producer of high-quality industrial minerals. We are very pleased to be working with BayWa r.e., the market leader for Floating-PV in Europe, as an experienced partner to implement the project together.”
Stephan Auracher, Managing Director, BayWa r.e. Power Solutions GmbH, adds: “Floating-PV offers an attractive investment opportunity for companies in the raw materials and building materials industries, which often own idle or only partially used expanses of water. These areas hold immense untapped potential for the energy transition. With our turnkey Floating-PV systems, our years of expertise and attractive self-consumption and financing models, we ensure the best possible economic solution for our customers. Together with Quarzwerke, we are pioneering the technology with Germany’s first subsidy-free Floating-PV system and view this as the starting signal for the further adoption of this solar application in Germany.”
Until now, all Floating-PV projects in Germany have been implemented within the funding framework of the EEG (German Renewable Energy Act). With one of the currently largest plants in Germany, which will reach a nominal output of approx. 3 megawatt peak, BayWa r.e. demonstrates that plants can be operated economically even without subsidies from the EEG if sufficient electricity is used for own consumption. Particularly for gravel pits and quarries that have corresponding artificial water surfaces, modern FloatingPV systems are ideal for land-neutral green electricity production. And the larger the plant, the greater the contribution to the energy transition.
Advantages of Floating-PV technology
Toni Weigl, Head of Product Management Floating-PV at BayWa r.e., explains: “With the new German government’s goal of generating 80 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2030, newer solar applications such as Agri-PV and Floating-PV are increasingly coming into focus alongside roof and ground-mounted solar systems. Floating-PV systems are environmentally friendly and have the advantage of comparatively simple and quick installation, higher potential energy output thanks to the cooling effect of water, and lower operating and maintenance costs. We now hope that the new German government will swiftly improve the framework conditions for Floating-PV, as already stated in the coalition agreement.”