A total of 47,000 photovoltaic solar panels have been floated on the surface of a lake in Vaucluse in southern France.
The project is the brainchild of the local mayor, Louis Driey, who was wondering what to do with the 50-hectare artificial lake, which is a flooded former quarry.
He told Le Parisien: “When we launched this project, it was a world first to install photovoltaic panels on water.
“France did not believe in it, the Chinese took it and it took Akuo Energy and Ciel et terre installing it all over the world for the French to believe in it.”
Now up and running, the panels supply 100 percent of the energy needs of 4,733 households – nearly 10,000 people.
A spokesman for the town added: “Floating solar energy does not leave marks in the soil in the long term, it does not generate water pollution. Over the years, fish will settle there, fauna and flora will develop.”
The plant, at Piolenc, if the first floating plant in France and the most powerful in Europe.