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Ciel & Terre EMEA begins installation for Europe’s largest floating solar project

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Energy Global,

Ciel & Terre, pioneer in floating solar solutions, has started the anchoring installation and floating platform assembly for the future largest floating photovoltaic (FPV) power plant, the Ilots Blandin project in Haute-Marne, France. This project, initiated in 2019 by Q ENERGY, represents an installation of 72.3 MWp of floating solar power and 2 MWp on the ground (built by Perpetum), making it the largest project of its kind in Europe.

Q ENERGY, contractor for the construction of its project initiated in 2019, launched a tender for an EPC BOP, which was awarded to a consortium comprising Solutions 30 Sud-Ouest (formerly Sotranasa), Perpetum Energy, and Ciel & Terre International. Spread over a vast 127-ha. site, divided into six lakes, the ‘Les Ilôts Blandin’ solar power plant will be installed on a former gravel pit that is partially still in use. The installation of a floating solar project on a quarry lake contributes to the enhancement of this industrial site. In addition, it produces solar energy while optimising land use and preserving available land resources.

Ciel & Terre offers a turnkey solution, managing the design of the power plant, the anchoring installation and the floating solar platform assembly. With their ‘full-floating scope’ offer, Ciel & Terre simplifies and optimises project management, providing developers and EPCs with a single point of contact to help them build the floating structure.

For the Ilots Blandin project, Ciel & Terre just finalised the anchoring installation process using a hybrid anchor solution with bank and bottom anchoring. Prior to the project, anchoring tests were carried out to determine the best solution for the site. To meet construction deadlines, two floating barges were mobilised simultaneously to complete the installation of the anchors in 21 weeks.

Alongside the anchoring work, the Ciel & Terre construction team has now assembled more than 40% of all the floating solar islands. Three mounting platforms have been deployed for the first three lakes to meet the deadlines by building three areas in parallel.

At a very early stage, the consortium tackled every detail of the execution phase in order to optimise all the practical aspects of implementing such a project. Indeed, Ciel & Terre adapted the design of its Hydrelio aiR Optim float for the project, in order to install more capacity and meet performance requirements.

The aiR Optim also offers comfortable maintenance, wider walkways, and cabling management solutions specific to the project to properly organise the cable trays. Standardisation methods were introduced at the various key stages of the project, right from the design stage, to facilitate and streamline on-site installation.

“In terms of design, we have an electrical configuration of 27 modules per string, for all the reservoirs, which has enabled us to order and deliver string return cables already pre-assembled in the factory,” explained Vincent Pinchou, Ciel & Terre EMEA Project Manager.

Finally, to facilitate deliveries, a tailor-made logistics flow management was introduced to meet deadlines and reduce costs, in particular by treating the six reservoirs as six independent projects.

With its involvement in the construction of the largest floating solar plant in Europe, Ciel & Terre affirms its commitment to driving sustainable floating solar solutions and pioneering innovation in the renewable energy sector.



For more news and technical articles from the global renewable industry, read the latest issue of Energy Global magazine.

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