Q ENERGY is set to start the construction of the ‘Les Ilots Blandin’ solar farm, located in Haute-Marne in the northwestern region of France. Through innovative design enhancements, the facility’s power generation capacity has surged from the original 66MW to 74.3MW, solidifying its status as the largest floating solar plant in Europe as of now.

Commencement of construction is slated for before the conclusion of September, with an estimated project timeline of approximately 18 months.

Electricity generation at the site will be sourced from multiple islands spanning a sprawling 127-hectare expanse of former gravel pits that ceased operations in 2020. These pits now host 134,649 solar modules securely affixed to floats and anchored either along the banks or to the pit’s submerged floor.

This solar installation is poised to provide clean, eco-friendly electricity equivalent to meeting the needs of 37,000 residents while mitigating the release of approximately 18,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually. The tentative operational launch is slated for the initial quarter of 2025.

Notably, the design of this floating solar system demonstrates a conscientious regard for the requirements of the surrounding aquatic ecosystem. Employing sustainable materials, the design strives to minimise ecological impact while optimising energy efficiency. Moreover, the floating structures integral to the site are proudly manufactured in France, further bolstering the growth of a promising European industry.

Since 2018, Q ENERGY France has been at the forefront of pioneering floating solar initiatives, predominantly focusing on regions with former quarry sites. Presently, the company boasts an impressive development pipeline, encompassing over 300MWp of floating photovoltaic (PV) projects.

Q ENERGY France managing director Jean-Francois Petit said: “Les Ilots Bladin is a wonderful example of how water areas can make an important contribution to the energy transition. Q ENERGY is continuously focusing on new technologies to make further areas usable in harmony with nature and to supply Europe with green electricity.”