ECOwind, a subsidiary of German renewables developer BayWa r.e., and Austrian energy supplier EVN recently completed construction of a vast floating solar photovoltaic (floating PV) plant in Grafenwörth, Lower Austria.

Continuing a recent trend of developers transforming unused bodies of water into clean energy generators, the 24.5MW project will become the fourth-largest floating PV plant in Europe after three BayWa r.e. projects in the Netherlands. Grafenwörth becomes the renewable giant’s 15th floating PV project worldwide, spanning 230MW of global capacity.

The 24.5MW floating solar PV plant in Grafenwörth, Lower Austria. (Photo by ECOwind)

The 14-hectare project is built across the water surface of two adjacent lakes that were formerly sand and gravel pits. With the 45,304 solar modules installed in only ten weeks, the project will produce 26,700 megawatt-hours of green electricity per year and will be able to supply electricity to around 7,500 Austrian households. 

“We are in the decade that matters,” said Benedikt Ortmann, global director of solar projects at BayWa r.e., in a press statement. “As market leader in floating PV, BayWa r.e. sees the important role of this technology in the clean energy revolution, and we are excited to bring floating PV to more and more countries.

“It creates a new function for otherwise unused water surfaces. With this turnkey floating PV project, we have brought incremental improvements to our already cutting-edge systems in the Netherlands. Together with EVN and our Austrian subsidiary ECOwind, we managed to install the plant in record time – without compromising on environmental protection. Biodiversity and sustainability are major considerations for us in all floating PV projects.”