Construction Begins on Sun-Tracking Solar Farm
Construction is underway for the world’s largest sun-tracking solar farm, a venture that is part of a response to increasing resistance to building wind turbines and solar farms on land. The archipelago-style solar farm is being built on the Andijk reservoir in north Holland.
Arnoud van Druten, the managing director of solar panel supplier Floating Solar, noted that the sun-tracking system involves three buoys “anchoring with cable around it, which turns the island and at the same time keeps the island together. It ensures the island is turned towards the sun.”
Sun-Tracking Solar Farm
The islands will contain 73,500 panels. Phase one of the project will include three islands, each 140 meters (roughly 460 feet) in diameter, with construction slated for completion in November, once the migration season for birds has drawn to a close. Van Druten noted that the window to put anything in the water is a limited one—only three months.
Dutch engineers build world's biggest sun-seeking solar farm https://t.co/am5TMog4KC— The Guardian (@guardian) April 21, 2019
Combined with a static solar panel project located near at Hoofddorp, near Amsterdam, the solar installations are slated to produce enough power for 10,000 homes. Actual sun-tracking options can use either keying in tracking to follow the course of the sun across the sky, or using an algorithm. The islands are also able to reposition themselves to minimize damage in extreme weather.
Van Druten noted that Andijk is in an area known for severe weather. “We have already tested that the system can sustain, without [weather risk management], wind speeds of around 60 mph.”
Islands will cover half of the reservoir’s surface area to prevent damage to the area’s ecosystem, according to The Guardian. Floating solar panel wiring will also be cooled by the water.
In a similar move, Google announced in February plans to move forward with a new renewable energy project: Solar panels that will be situated on top of fishing ponds in Taiwan, amounting to a 10-megawatt solar array.