Floating Photovoltaics


Floating Photovoltaics

Floating Photovoltaics (FPV) is the term for PV power plants that consist of modules mounted on buoyant elements that float on standing water bodies such as pit lakes or reservoirs or on the sea. FPV has shown very dynamic growth in recent years, with systems for more than 1.1 GW power installed by the middle of 2018.

Quick-Facts: Floating Photovoltaics (FPV)

  • Global installed power of app. 1.1 GW
  • Technical potential in Germany of app. 55 GWp (only pit lakes)
  • Advantages:
    • higher electricity yield due to cooling effect of water
    • less loss of water due to evaporation
    • lower water temperature due to partial shading
  • Challenges:
    • more complex installation and servicing
    • restriction to ecologically safe materials due to water protection requirements

Application otions

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.

Floating PV power plant with 750 kW
© Ossola GmbH, Foto: Jörg Wilhelm
Floating PV power plant with 750 kW power near Renchen in Baden, Germany.
Floating PV power plant in Japan
© Ciel & Terre International
Floating PV power plant in Japan.