Swedish utility Vattenfall is set to start building its first floating PV farm, in a water-filled quarry in the Netherlands.

The 1.2MW project, at a site in Gendringen where construction company Netterden, has been extracting sand and gravel for twenty-five years, will power an electric pump that clears standing water, which together sorting and processing equipment consumes around 2,500MWh a year.

“At Vattenfall, our mission is to make fossil-free living possible within one generation,” said Ivo Iprenburg, Vattenfall’s business bevelopment manager for real estate.

“I believe it is special that Netterden's decision to launch this project is driven by their vision regarding socially responsible enterprise. Our shared ambition for a sustainable future has brought us together in this project. Renewable energy is a natural part of this.”

As s pace for building solar farms is scarce in the Netherlands, Vattenall has been exploring constructing floating solar farms on ponds and pools “that form as the result of sand and gravel extraction”.

As well as providing sustainable generation, the concept has the additional benefit that the water cools the PV panels naturally, boosting efficiency compared to land-based black-top.

Vattenfall is the project’s lead contractor, while Netterden is providing the capital investment, which was not disclosed.

The floating PV farm is expected to be operational by May 2020.