HRH Grand Duke Henri, along with Claude Turmes — Luxembourg’s Minister of Energy — attended the ceremony to celebrate Luxembourg’s first floating solar farm, which was officially inaugurated by Thomas Georges, CEO of ArcelorMittal
Differdange. The farm, which has been installed on a former cooling pond belonging to ArcelorMittal Differdange, consists of 25,000m2
of solar panels with a surface area of 5.7 hectares.
Eventually, the electricity produced will amount to 3GWhr/year and will be able to power nearly 800 homes. The electricity produced on the floating solar farm will be fed into the local grid and contribute to Luxembourg’s ‘energy self-sufficiency’.
In 2019, as part of a call for projects launched by the Luxembourg government for the production of electricity from solar energy, ArcelorMittal and Enovos (Luxembourg’s main energy supplier) decided to join forces to carry out the first project of its kind in the Grand Duchy.
A contract was signed between the two partners, under the terms of which ArcelorMittal would make its Differdange industrial basin available to the energy operator, which owns, manages and operates the photovoltaic structure.
Following feasibility studies and obtaining the necessary administrative permits, construction started in March 2021 and the plant was commissioned on 21 October (the construction project involved around 30 people for more than six months). The floating solar structure and the transformer station were installed first, followed by making the electrical connection.
The ‘highlight of this phase of the project’ was the drilling under the rail network adjacent to the basin, which allowed the cables needed to connect the installation to the public network to be laid.
Mr Georges said: “With this project, which is in line with ArcelorMittal’s sustainable development strategy in Luxembourg, we have made available the conversion of an industrial basin for sustainable energy production.
“The combined efforts of ArcelorMittal and Enovos have made it possible to develop an innovative solution for the benefit of Luxembourg households. This project is a first for our sites and serves as an inspiration for future projects, as part of our decarbonisation strategy.”