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Floating-PV FAQs

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Lake Owners/Co-developers

  • How does Floating-PV benefit lake owners?

    Floating-PV is a great opportunity to generate extra value from your body of water. You can benefit from long-term lease income on areas that previously only created costs, while at the same time promoting sustainability and renewable energy implementation. You can become the owner of the floating system, either by buying it or by purchasing the generated power. The electricity can be used for your own consumption, enabling you to lower and secure your energy costs for the long term and avoid possible COtaxes, or you can sell the electricity on to another company, or to the grid. 

    Operators of hydroelectric power stations benefit from dual use of the reservoir to maximise energy production. At high solar irradiation, the floating solar park delivers electricity; at low irradiation or at night, the hydro technology delivers electricity. Furthermore, a Floating-PV system will reduce evaporation from reservoirs, and the existing grid connection can be used, which lowers the cost of installation. A real win-win situation. 

  • What are the benefits of partnering with BayWa r.e.?

    With more than 30 years of experience in the field of renewables, and 230 MWp installed of Floating-PV, we draw upon extensive know-how. We are a quality-orientated, full-service provider with a strong financial background and a tight network of suppliers and subcontractors to deliver at high quality and competitive costs. We bring the table technology know-how, development capabilities and EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) ability. Our parent company BayWa AG generates an annual turnover of 17.2 billion euros. 

  • Does the system impact marine life or birds?

    Since beginning of operation of our first projects in the Netherlands, we have been performing studies to monitor and evaluate the impact of our parks on the water ecosystem and on the surroundings, with support and collaboration of independent research institutes and universities. Completed studies and intermediate results show little to no impact on the water ecosystem, while in some cases even promoting bio-diversity of fish and invertebrate species, as shown in our Bomhofsplas biohuts case study. Birds also like to stop on and around our parks, and bird-counting activities have not shown so far a decrease of bird presence in proximity of our parks. 

  • Is there any impact on water quality?

    We have not seen any negative impact on water quality. Qualitative and quantitative studies are currently under way in collaboration with universities to measure and monitor water quality, with promising results. With the optimized floating structure system we use, we allow maximum water movement beneath the system. We expect less algae build-up due to moderate shadows underneath the construction – certain types of algae require substantial light to grow, so a reduction of these varieties might occur, which reduces maintenance costs for cleaning of the water body. 

    Other varieties thrive in the shade, but we use a specific type of glass/glass modules in our system which ensure good light transparency, so they only cast moderate shadows. We think this creates the ideal conditions for avoiding excessive growth of both kinds of algae. 

    The components have undergone in-house as well as third parties leaching tests, which confirmed they are also suitable for use in drinking water reservoirs intended for drinking water. 

  • Are there any safety issues related to electricity on water?

    No. Our realized Floating-PV systems fulfil all electrical regulations relating to the installation of electrical systems. We integrate a well-designed grounding system to protect the system from any electrical failures. Our systems are reviewed and certified by the independent company VDE and are compliant with all electrical regulations and standards. We use the highest standard of cables and components, certified for use in water. Nevertheless, our cabling design is kept completely out of the water or in water-proof ducts, so that cables are protected from the sun and avoid contact with the water. This also secures a 30+ years long life of the construction and easy maintenance.  

  • Is it possible to use the water for Floating-PV and other purposes (e.g. recreational use) simultaneously?

    For most of our Floating-PV projects we are installing on artificial bodies of water such as decommissioned parts of sand pits, coal mining areas and water storage facilities, which are not used for recreation or tourism. It is in theory possible to allow dual use of bodies of water with productive or recreational activities, but additional measures to avoid interference between the activities and to avoid risks should be taken.

  • Durability/safety: what if the lake freezes?

    The substructure is similar to those we use for ground-mounted plants, and the floating pontoons are made of HDPE. This material has been used for many years in other offshore applications, such as harbours or floating platforms. The pontoons consist of two layers – an inner recyclable layer and an external layer with high UV persistence, resulting in a long-term quality. According to a UV long-term simulation test, floats remain stable under laboratory weather conditions for 20+ years. The pontoons are also designed to withstand ice if the lake freezes. Snow and ice, fire, pressure, and UV irradiation are all considered long before construction, and the anchoring concept is designed to adhere to all Eurocode safety factors.  

  • Is any space required on land?

    All inverters and transformers for our system float on the water, so there is no extra space required on land except for a small station to connect the park to the grid, and possibly a container for spare parts. A launching platform and assembly area is required during construction only. 

  • Can the Floating-PV system be removed from the lake?

    The floating systems can be disassembled at the end of the life cycle, allowing them to be brought back to the shore as they were built. All of the material can be recycled and re-used.  

  • In which countries is BayWa r.e. installing floating solar systems?

    We have 15 projects installed at the moment, of which 12 in the Netherlands, 1 in Germany, 1 in Austria and 1 in Thailand, for a total of 230 MWp. We are continually expanding and at the moment we have a secured pipeline of projects in more than 10 countries, between Europe and APAC. 

Banks and Investors

  • Is Floating-PV a proven technology?

    Floating-PV is not a new technology, only a new application of an existing technology. Our installed Floating-PV systems fulfil all Eurocode standards and are certified by VDE. The system is based on the construction experience of BayWa r.e., who have installed more than 2.6 GWp. It can be maintained by BayWa r.e.’s O&M unit and ensures investors a smooth operation over the lifetime of the project. Due to our position monitoring, we make sure to always determine the exact location of the Floating-PV system, which further increases the safety. 

    BayWa r.e. was also part of the Joint Industry Project that led to the publication of the first Recommended Practice for Floating-PV, DNV-RP-0584, and keeps participating in industry-wide activities to increase the safety and reliability of Floating-PV systems. 

    For those investing in Floating-PV from BayWa r.e., the return, risk and administration are no different than when investing in ground-mounted projects, as all the particulars are handled by our experienced teams. 

  • What is the average lifespan of a Floating-PV system?

    Our floating parks are designed for 30+ years – the same as ground-mounted parks. 

  • What are the advantages of Floating-PV compared to rooftop and ground-mounted PV?

    Compared to ground-mounted parks, the big advantage is that no land surfaces are used, and that we therefor can contribute against the existing land use conflict. Compared to rooftop systems, much bigger systems can be realised at lower LCOE. Furthermore, constructing and maintaining Floating-PV plants bears lower risks for our employees than rooftop installations.  

  • Who will operate and manage my Floating-PV plant?

    The plant can be operated and managed by the experts of the BayWa r.e. O&M team, who have already gained experience from our operational floating projects in the Netherlands. Remote 24/7 monitoring is guaranteed from our control center based in Munich.  

  • How do bird droppings impact the energy yield?

    As birds are generally only sitting at the edges of the plant, bird droppings are not significantly impacting the yield. From the first projects, detailed analyses have been performed and only a small fraction of the modules have a slightly reduced production but do not impact the overall yield of the project.  


  • How can you ensure the safety of the system and especially the safety of individuals using the water as a lake for swimming?

    Our installed Floating-PV systems fulfil all electrical regulations relating to the installation of electrical systems. We install a perfect grounding system to protect the system from any electrical failures. Our systems are reviewed and certified by the independent company VDE and are compliant with all electrical regulations and standards. Furthermore, we focus on lakes that are not used for recreational purposes.  

  • What about conflict with tourism?

    We are primarily looking at non-recreational waters, such as sand pits, coal mining areas and water storage facilities, which are not used for tourism. There are many unused bodies of water that could assume a new function, or bodies of water used primarily for productive activities, making it unnecessary to use those with high landscape value or major visual impact. Nonetheless, we make sure in design phase that landscape impact is minimized, if needed also by use of compensatory measures around the area. 


  • Are there any support schemes in place in European countries?

    There are plenty of support schemes available in Europe for the development and construction of Floating-PV projects, either in form of feed-in tariffs such as the SDE+ in the Netherlands, or renewable CfD auctions, as well as innovation tenders. The requirements and eligibility of a specific Floating-PV project may vary country by country and even region by region, and they keep changing in time, which is why an experienced partner in the development of Floating-PV such as BayWa r.e. can support in finding the right business case at the right point in time. 

  • What is the potential for Floating-PV in Europe?

    According to a study by the World Bank, there is a potential of 204 GWp in Europe alone, if we use 10% of the man-made inland freshwater reservoirs. (Source: Where Sun Meets Water, Floating Solar Market Report, 2019 International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / The World Bank, page 57, Graph.) Only around 0.15% of this potential has currently been installed, which leaves huge potential for market growth. 

  • Is floating solar energy more expensive than ground-mounted PV?

    Floating-PV is still slightly more expensive than ground-mounted PV in terms of CAPEX, but it can also generate higher yields due to the cooling effect of the water and has lower OPEX and lower lease costs compared to land. Technology development, net of the current macro-economics trends and disruption in the supply chain, is leading to optimized design and lower costs.  

  • Are you able to build subsidy-free Floating-PV?

    It highly depends on the single projects, on size, location, characteristics of the body of water. But with our first subsidy-free Floating-PV project in Germany, we have already shown that subsidy-free Floating-PV is possible.  

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