The floating solar plant is expected to produce over 800,000kWh of electricity annually and serve up to 220 homes in the region

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Image: ABB to supply solar inverters for Romande Energie’s floating PV plant in Switzerland. Photo: courtesy of ABB.

Swiss-based automation technology provider ABB has been selected by Romande Energie to supply inverter solutions for the Lac des Toules floating PV plant in Switzerland.

Located 1,810m above sea level on the artificial Lac des Toules in Switzerland, the floating solar plant is expected to produce over 800,000kWh of electricity annually and serve up to 220 homes in the region.

The plant is claimed to be one of the world’s highest floating PV installations that increases the efficiency of DC production by up to 30%, even in the winter.

Under the contract, ABB will supply PVS-175 inverters for the floating solar project. Anti-corrosion coating on the inverters enables them to be installed into both fresh and saltwater applications.

Designed to perform under extreme weather conditions, PVS-175 inverters feature multi-tracking facility that also allows them to cope with seasonal and weather variances in water levels.

Romande Energie project lead Guillaume Fuchs said: “We have been working on this project since 2012, so collaborating closely with our partners has been critical.

“ABB’s capabilities to support above and below the line with a complete technology package – including its PVS-175 string inverters, a transformer station with a dry transformer, and switchgear for medium and low-voltage, advice and counsel – have been critical to achieving and realizing this unique installation.”

The floating plant consists of bifacial solar models on a carpet of 36 floats

The 2,240m² park comprises bifacial solar models on a carpet of 36 floats, which are secured to the bottom of the lake by weights, allowing it to rise and fall at the same time as the water.

In August this year, ABB was selected by Solek to supply solar string inverters and two medium-voltage (MV) transformer stations for a 9MW Villa Alegre solar park, to be located in the Maule region of central Chile.