Global renewable energy, infrastructure, water, and services company ACCIONA, headquartered in Madrid, announced the inauguration of the first grid-connected floating photovoltaic solar plant in Spain, which 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 Sierra Brava photovoltaic plant has been designed as a technology demonstrator project that will allow the testing of a range of solar panels, inclinations and floating systems in a combined manner and in a real environment. The installation will also enable 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.
The project 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. 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 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.
Source: Press Release by ACCIONA. Photo credit: © ACCIONA.