We win our first floating solar project in Alsace

  • Iberdrola has been awarded a 25-MW floating photovoltaic plant in a tender launched by the municipality of Kurtzenhouse in Alsace
  • The project will be developed on the Bischwiller gravel pit, whose land is partially owned by the municipality
  • Estimated annual production of 27 GWh will supply green electricity to nearly 10,000 Alsatian households by the end of 2026

Iberdrola, the world's largest producer of renewable energy, announced today that it has been awarded its first floating solar power plant in France, with a total capacity of 25 megawatts peak (MWp), in response to a call for tenders issued in June 2022 by the municipality of Kurtzenhouse in Alsace.

Iberdrola is now specialising in the development of floating solar projects on active industrial sites as part of its commitment to establishing a long-term presence in France.

"We are very proud to contribute to the development of green energy production solutions alongside the municipality of Kurtzenhouse. This project strengthens Iberdrola France's position in the Grand Est region where the company is already developing a solar photovoltaic (PV) plant for Solvay to supply its Tavaux plant (Jura) with green electricity. In parallel, Iberdrola is working on a 3 MW agrivoltaic solution in a Moselle farm to optimise milk production" said Thierry Vergnaud, Iberdrola France Director of the onshore division (onshore wind and photovoltaic).

"The implementation of this floating solar PV plant represents a real opportunity for our region. This green energy project contributes to the region’s energy self-sufficiency while fighting against global warming in a context marked by soaring electricity prices", emphasised Marc Moser, Mayor of Kurtzenhouse.

A floating solar power plant on an active gravel pit

The floating solar power plant will be developed, built and operated by Iberdrola on the basin of the Bischwiller gravel pit, part of which is owned by the municipality of Kurtzenhouse.

This gravel pit is currently operated by the company Eqiom Granulats, which extracts and markets sand and gravel of alluvial origin. During the construction and operation phase of the plant, Iberdrola will consider the presence of these activities and ensure their continued operation.

The floating solar power plant will occupy an area of approximately 13.5 hectares of the 28 hectares available on the site.

By the end of 2026, 10,000 Alsatian households will be supplied with green electricity

Since January 2023, Iberdrola has launched environmental and technical studies to determine and choose the most suitable technological solution for the project and the site. These studies will be completed in early 2024.

The application for a building permit is expected to be submitted in spring 2024 and commissioning in late summer 2026. The operating period is 30 years. The plant will have an installed production capacity of 25 MWp. It will be able to produce approximately 27 GWh of green electricity per year. The electricity will be injected into the distribution network to be consumed locally by nearly 10,000 Alsatian households (FEE data on the average consumption of a French household (excluding heating) of 2,700 kWh / year).

At the end of the plant's operation life, Iberdrola will be responsible for 100% of the dismantling and restoration of the site.

Economic benefits for the region

Iberdrola will give preference to local companies for the construction of this power plant, which will create approximately 80 jobs during the construction phase and 6 direct and indirect permanent jobs during the operating phase for maintenance.

Iberdrola, a committed player in the French market

Iberdrola has been present in France for some twenty years and develops, builds and operates renewable energy projects in France, giving priority to respect for the environment and the social and economic development of the regions where its facilities are located. The company plans to invest around €4 billion by 2025, mainly in renewable energy projects.

From Paris and with regional offices in Lyon, Nantes, Nancy, Bordeaux, Limoges and Marseille, Iberdrola operates 11 wind projects with a total installed capacity of 118 MW. The company is developing an 800-MW pipeline of onshore wind and photovoltaic projects at different stages of development. In France, the company is currently building a 496 MW offshore wind farm in the Bay of Saint-Brieuc which will be commissioned in December 2023.