Acciona Energía expands the floating photovoltaic plant in Sierra Brava

ACCIONA Energía has installed a new photovoltaic floating system at the Sierra Brava reservoir in the municipality of Zorita (Spain), as part of a pilot project to evaluate its performance.

Formed by a two-millimeter-thick reinforced hydro-elastic membrane, the new structure serves as the base for 770 photovoltaic modules. The membrane has a proprietary mooring and anchoring system which gives it more flexibility and resistance to strong waves and wind, allowing it to be used not only on reservoirs and marshes, but also on the sea. In addition, the modules are fixed at 0º, avoiding the “sail effect” when there are strong winds.

The new module follows five adjacent floating systems in which the company is studying the behavior and performance of different floating solar solutions.

Floating photovoltaic technologies, such as this one, have the potential to significantly accelerate the deployment of solar energy, as they allow plants to be built directly on the surface of different water bodies, including the sea. In addition, floating solar farms have certain advantages over land-based solar farms as they do not compete with  land marked for other uses and they offer better performance due to the milder temperature of the panels. These facilities also have a positive environmental impact by reducing water evaporation and protecting against excessive growth of algae and cyanobacteria.


The Sierra Brava floating solar plant has been operational since July 2020, when it became the first grid-connected floating photovoltaic facility in Spain. It serves ACCIONA Energía as an experimental hub to test various floating technologies in a real environment, and to acquire the necessary knowledge in construction, operation and maintenance, and environmental monitoring to scale up to commercial application.

ACCIONA Energía’s pilot projects in Sierra Brava have been accompanied by various environmental monitoring programs focused on birds in the area, with the dual aim of protecting them and studying their interaction with this type of facility. In addition, ACCIONA Energía has carried out a series of measures to promote the presence and conservation of local fauna, such as the installation of two floating platforms to encourage the reproduction of bird species and the placement of 20 nesting boxes for protected species. A number of social impact management and outreach initiatives have also been carried out to raise awareness of the benefits of renewables among local schools and various municipal Red Cross groups.