Located 1,810 meters above sea level on the artificial Lac des Toules in Switzerland, Romande Energie operates one of the world’s highest floating photovoltaic (PV) installations. Due to the high altitude and optimal air quality, such an alpine environment is able to produce solar power even in winter. The solar installation, comprising 36 floating modules with 1400 PV panels, has a capacity of more than 800,000 kWh of clean solar power every year, supplying electricity up to 220 homes in the region.
And ABB has developed a customized solution configured to the operator’s unique requirements to safeguard the continuous generation and delivery of electricity to the grid.
The solar installation is linked directly to the grid via a special ABB ecofriendly compact secondary substation, the UniPack-G, which is designed to withstand the kinds of weather conditions often found in remote and harsh environments associated with renewable generation, yet lightweight enough to be transported to the site by helicopter.
Lac des Toules is the latest in a global trend for installing floating PV structures, which offer over 50 percent more efficiency by using topography and the surrounding natural resources, as well as being driven by a need to source alternative locations for PV systems where onshore land is at a premium.