Ciel & Terre in Germany: a favorable summer for floating solar

The Maiwald plant, a 750 kWp floating solar array, on a lake.

The Maiwald plant, a 750 kWp floating solar array, operates on a lake in Germany and provides energy for quarry machines. — Photo courtesy Ciel & Terre International

Ciel & Terre has breached in a new European market. Its flagship product Hydrelio® arrived in Germany. Karlsruhe region inaugurated a 750 kWp floating solar array in July, which is expected to produce 736 MWh per year. The facility provides energy for the pond owner Ossola GmbH’s quarry machines. The excess of electricity produced is re-injected into the local grid.

The achievement of Maiwald FPV plant is the result of a fruitful collaborative effort between Ciel & Terre and German major energy actors. The mining company, Ossola GmbH, commissioned Erdgas Südwest, a EnBW subsidiary (one of the biggest German energy companies), to develop and construct the project. Erdgas Südwest chose Ciel & Terre to fully design and supply the floating structure, including the anchorage, which installation was also handled by its experts.

An innovative anchoring system for a challenging site

Owing to the site type – a 40 ha quarry lake – the installation of the floating PV plant was ambitious. Physical and operational constraints particularly questioned the usual anchoring solutions. Among them, gaps dug underwater with variable depths, up to 59m, and another hole planned to be made shortly. To solve this situation, Ciel & Terre issued an unprecedented anchoring solution worldwide: the first parabolic mooring line system. The plant is attached to the banks on three sides and its fourth edge is tied to a cable crossing the pond, which bonds opposite lakeshores.

Design, supply and installation, but not only

The specificity and uniqueness characterizing this anchorage have led Ciel & Terre to train and propose consulting on this world-premiere floating solar array with a parabolic mooring line. The group is actually widely involved in sharing knowledge with its interlocutors, as part of either the installation process or its training events.

About Ciel & Terre® International

Established in 2006 as a specialist in the integration of photovoltaic systems, Ciel & Terre® has been fully devoted to floating solar PV since 2011, developing the first patented, and industrialized water-based PV concept: HYDRELIO®.  The company was awarded Intersolar Prize 2017 for its innovative technology. In response to land use conflicts, this solution consists of installing PV modules on inland and artificial water bodies to produce energy in a more efficient way. The floating PV group’s activity is fully-integrated, including technical innovation, manufacturing, project development, design, as well as system O&M, financing solutions and consulting activities. So far, the track-record of the company reaches 300 MWp.  

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