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    Floating PV

    Transforming unused bodies of water into highly efficient green power plants.

    The next generation of high-yield green power production

    Floating PV offers huge potential

    From disused coal quarries and mineral extraction pits to reservoirs, Floating PV offers tremendous potential for contributing to the renewable energy transition across Europe. It diffuses the heated discussion over land use conflict throughout European countries and enables owners of artificial lakes to make double use of their water surfaces.

    The higher potential yields thanks to the water cooling effect, the easy installation and the huge surface areas available compensate for the slightly higher installation costs of Floating PV systems compared to ground-mounted solar systems of the same size. For installations bigger than 50 MWp, Floating PV will soon be viable in Southern Europe without the need for subsidies or government support. For smaller installations or more northern regions such as Germany, tenders with a focus on innovation and technology would be a likely route to further pave the way for Floating PV.

      Patent-registered, state-of-the-art Floating PV technology

      BayWa r.e. is leading the European market in transforming unused bodies or water into highly efficient green power plants. As a full-service provider, we handle everything from project development, planning, procurement and financing, through to turnkey construction and operational management.

      Our services:

      • Planning and technical consulting
      • Reporting and analysis 
      • Project development
      • Procurement from long-term partners
      • Turnkey construction
      • Financing
      • Direct marketing
      • Power purchase agreements (PPAs)
      • Operational management

      A market leader in Europe

      Having already successfully realised the 8.4 MWp Tynaarlo Floating PV project in the Netherlands, we have started construction of the 14.5 MWp Sekdoorn project and will soon start construction of further Floating PV projects, which will be amongst the largest in Europe.

      Drawing on our extensive global engineering and technical expertise, our customised, VDE-certified system design in combination with the patent-registered Zim Float subconstruction system is unlike anything else available on the market.

      Introducing the pioneering Zim Float system

      Having determined that no existing Floating PV system on the market met BayWa r.e. standards, we partnered with the renowned engineering experts at Zimmermann PV-Stahlbau GmbH to design our own.

      The result of that partnership is the state-of-the-art, highly versatile, patent-registered, large-scale Zim Float system. Its integrated system design is based on a fully certified electrical concept. Its integrated inverter boats, maintenance walkways, cable ducts, wave barriers and the floating transformer station make this system unique and allow for the highest stability, long life and easy maintenance. The high module occupancy rate uses the minimum possible space. It is a fully scalable system, adaptable to project size and external conditions.

      The Zim Float system at a glance


      • BayWa r.e.'s highly standardised mechanical system and the integrated VDE-certified electrical system – both have been perfectly adapted for the use on water
      • Capable of withstanding high wind, waves and snow, according to the EN Code
      • Solid steel beams with zinc, aluminium and magnesium coating for maximum corrosion prevention
      • Integrated inverter boats, walkways, cable ducts, wave barrier and VDE certified floating transformer station
      • Bankable system
      • Pontoons are made of durable HDPE which is safe to be used on drinking water
      • Minimum footprint on the water
      • All components are IP 65 certified and the cables are even suitable for underwater installations
      • Suitable for use on any fresh water*

      *However, to avoid adverse effects on quality of life for nearby communities, we only install Floating PV on artificial waterbodies, such as a sand extraction ponds, quarry lakes, irrigation reservoirs, hydroelectric dams, water treatment plants and freshwater reservoirs, aquaculture ponds, and even floodplains


      • Additional yield thanks to the water cooling effect 
      • Easy maintenance
      • Fewer losses due to shorter cables
      • Prefabricated cable strings guarantee highest electrical safety and reliability
      • Significant sunlight penetration and free water movement underneath the system
      • No harm to water quality or marine- and bird-life
      • Reduces evaporation
      • Cables protected from long-term water contact and direct sunlight
      • No extra space needed onshore – only one cable leads to shore
      • High-energy density per hectare
      • Easy to install (majority of assembly done onshore)
      • Easily scalable to multi megawatts
      • Solid anchoring against stormy weather

      The ultimate stability test


      With Zim Float we have not only eliminated the typical problems of existing floating systems, but have also transferred our proven VDE-certified system design for ground-mounted installations to a water-based application. Our mission is to build subsidy-free floating parks in the coming years.

      Edgar Gimbel, Technical Director of BayWa r.e. Solar Projects GmbH and leading force in the development of Zim Float


      We are proud to be part of this innovative project and are happy that the part of our water surface without sand extraction activities now offers new benefits. This development fits in perfectly with our ambition to be climate neutral by 2030. We look forward to many years of good cooperation with BayWa r.e. as a professional, reliable partner.

      Gerard Hoiting, LMB Roelofs BV, owner of Tynaarlo sand pit

      Do you want to know more?


      Toni Weigl
      Project Manager Floating
      BayWa r.e. Solar Projects GmbH