[Lille, France – June 26, 2024] – 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.

Europe’s Largest Floating Solar Project on Former Gravel Pit: the Ilots Blandin

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.

Ilots Blandin floating solar project Ciel & Terre

Spread over a vast 127-hectare site, divided into 6 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, leading the way in floating solar expertise:

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 finalized 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.

Ilots Blandin anchoring by Ciel & Terre

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 3 areas in parallel.

Optimizing efficiency: early design and standardization strategies in the Ilot Blandin solar project

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 organize 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.

Ilots Blandin construction by Ciel & Terre

“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.”

Vincent Pinchou,

Ciel & Terre EMEA Project Manager, Ciel & Terre EMEA

Finally, to facilitate deliveries, a tailor-made logistics flow management was introduced to meet deadlines and reduce costs, in particular by treating the 6 reservoirs as 6 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.

By Chloé, Marketing