From a wind farm off the coast of Scotland to a solar plant on a former coalmine in China, some recent record-breaking renewable energy schemes all share one common trait: they float. With the number and size of floating renewable energy projects increasing, JLL Real Views explores what it means for both green energy and real estate.
In the UK, the first fully-operational floating solar facility was completed in 2014, on a reservoir at Sheeplands farm in Berkshire. More recently, the largest floating energy farm in Europe powered up in 2016 on the Queen Elizabeth II Reservoir, in Surrey, England. Boasting a 6.3MW capacity, its 23,000 panels of solar PV cover the equivalent of eight football pitches. Coming in at twice that size is the floating solar installation on the Yamakura Dam reservoir, in Japan which will deliver 13.7MW of power.
In 2017, however, the rule book was rewritten when China switched on what is now the world’s largest floating renewable energy plant. With a $45 million price tag, the giant installation of 120,000 solar panels covers an area equivalent to over 160 American football fields and generates enough energy to power 15,000 homes.
Click here to read more on why countries are choosing to build large-scale renewable energy projects on water.