Floating Photovoltaics (FPV) is the term for PV power plants that consist of modules mounted on buoyant elements that float on water bodies such as pit lakes or reservoirs or on the sea. The plant is anchored to the bottom of the water, shore or adjacent structures. As a result of the module cooling by the water, FPV plants show increased yields compared to conventional ground-mounted systems. While some plants with installed capacities in the double-digit megawatt range can already be found in Asia, the plants in Germany are limited to a maximum of 750 kWp due to previous funding obstacles. The largest FPV plant in Europe is currently located in the Netherlands with an installed nominal capacity of 27.4 MWp (as of February 2022). FPV has shown very dynamic growth in recent years, with systems for more than 2.6 GWp power installed by the beginning of 2021.
In Germany, pit lakes from open-cut mining, former gravel pits and, in some cases, reservoirs are potential locations. The first German FPV plant on a converted gravel pit near Renchen in Baden has been connected to the grid since the end of May 2019 and has an installed power rating of just on 750 kW. Most of the generated electricity is consumed by the neighbouring gravel excavation plant. In addition to the application of FPV on lakes, the technology can also be used at sea (offshore or near the coast). Other possible applications represent the integration of FPV on cover foils of agricultural water reservoirs or fish farms. In Cyprus, for example, a floating solar film was installed on a water reservoir. It reduces water evaporation and pollution while producing electricity for pumping equipment. It is also possible to implement PV over canals.