Renewable energy producer Q Energy is now building Europe’s largest floating solar farm on a brownfield site in northwestern France.
The floating solar farm is called Les Ilots Blandin, and it’s going to be sited on a former quarry (pictured) in Haute-Marne, north of Dijon.
Les Ilots Blandin was originally going to have a capacity of 66 megawatts (MW), but an improved design has allowed the project’s capacity to be bumped up to 74.3 MW.
The floating solar islands will be spread out over 127 hectares (314 acres) of former gravel pits that were decommissioned in 2020.
Les Ilots Blandin will have 134,649 solar panels fixed on floats, and they will form six islands that are anchored either to the banks or the bottom of the flooded pits.
Q Energy says it used made-in-France sustainable materials that are designed to minimize environmental impact while maximizing energy efficiency, but the company didn’t provide specs about those materials in its announcement.
Europe’s largest floating solar farm will supply enough clean energy for 37,000 households and avoid CO2 emissions of around 18,000 tonnes annually.
Construction will start before the end of this month, and it’s expected to take around 18 months. Provisional commissioning is scheduled for the first quarter of 2025.
Jean-Francois Petit, managing director of Q ENERGY France, said, “Les Ilots Bladin is a wonderful example of how water areas can make an important contribution to the energy transition.”
Q ENERGY France has been developing floating solar projects since 2018, mostly on former quarries. It currently has a floating solar development pipeline of more than 300 MW.
Read more: The largest floating solar farm in North America is officially online
Photo: Romain Berthiot
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