Utrecht to build its first floating solar panel field

Floating solar panels on a lake
Floating solar panels on a lake

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The Haarrijnseplas (Haarrijnse lake) will get its very first lot of floating solar panel islands that will help power around 1,400 households with sustainable energy. See location of the new solar panels below:

The islands will be placed on the east side of the lake and have no negative consequences for recreation and nature. Utrecht wants to construct the solar islands in line with objectives to create more environmentally friendly neighborhoods in the district of Haarrijn. Many homes in this neighborhood already have solar panels installed on roofs. This combination of solar power initiatives should ensure that the entire district becomes more energy efficient for years to come.

The islands are expected to generate around 4 million kWh annually. That is more than enough for Haarrijn’s 650 homes, charging stations and street lighting. The remaining energy will become available to the surrounding areas. The yield is relatively high because of the natural cooling and reflection properties of the water. The solar islands each float separately and are attached by cables at the bottom of the lake. The solar panels are expected to cover at least 14 percent of the recreational lake. Due to the greenery, the solar panels are barely visible from the bank. The islands will be barely visible from the beach side of the lake situated some 150 meters away.

The solar islands will be decorated with greenery; mainly marsh plants. This should provide more habitat and breeding grounds for birds and fish. The greenery will also attract insects, which should in turn provide more food for surrounding fauna.

Now that there is clarity about the scale and feasibility of the solar energy islands at the Haarrijnseplas, the municipality is launching a public tender for its construction. At the earliest, this construction should begin during the fall of 2020.

Source: Gemeente Utrecht


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Michael Darmanin

Michael is founder and managing editor of Utrecht Central. He graduated in Communications and Media at the Hogeschool Utrecht in the summer of 2012. He specializes in Web Development, Content Management and Online Marketing. Interested in co-operation? We are open to all kinds of suggestions. Contact us!

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2 Responses

  1. Avatar Mark says:

    I would’ve expected that the water on the West would be used instead. Since the one on the east is used for recreational activities as well

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