During the Interregional Event in Extremadura, Spain, project partners had the possibility to visit the first floating solar power plant installed in Extremadura. It is located in the Irrigation Community of Merida and is one of the biggest floating solar plants in Spain.
The solar plant is composed of 1600 photovoltaic panels (PV) over the water, extending to a four-hectare area. The plan is to add another hectare in the coming year. This project was promoted by the Irrigation community of Merida, with an innovation objective to improve the energy efficiency of the facilities.
This project was born by the hand of the management authorities of Extremadura, and thanks to this, the regional department of agriculture wrote a decree of energy efficiency.
This irrigation plant is implemented in 4 parts, at the moment only the first stage has been completed with an investment cost of 744.695,23 € and with a 75 % co-financing from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
The irrigation plant generates now 500 kW of electricity. In the future , after the other 4 stages have been implemented, this figure could reach 2,5 MW.
The goal of this irrigation plant is to minimise costs of the agricultural holding, with the uses of solar energy, reducing the carbon emissions. In the future, the Irrigation community would like to make a hybridization system. The PV panels would produce energy by pumping water to the top. The water reservoir above would be used as a huge battery during the day and in the night or raining seasons it would be used as hydroelectric power.