A new proposal to create a “floating carpet” of solar panels in the North Sea was unveiled. German energy provider RWE will invest in a trial project to deploy floating solar technology in the North Sea.” Merganser,” a 0.5-MWp pilot, will be installed off Ostend, Belgium. “Merganser” will be SolarDuck’s first offshore pilot, according to RWE.”Merganser” would give SolarDuck and RWE “valuable first-hand experience in one of the world’s most demanding offshore settings,” RWE said.
SolarDuck opens up new solar energy potential in the North Sea. RWE reportedly chose SolarDuck for the Dutch HKW VII contract (system integration).
The winning bid will integrate a 5 MWp offshore floating solar plant and cutting-edge energy storage into the offshore wind farm.
RWE and SolarDuck will create stand-alone and hybrid commercial offshore floating solar parks with “Merganser” and HKW. SolarDuck’s technological and commercial inventiveness and RWE’s market dominance create the right foundation for advancing this high-potential technology.
What makes SolarDuck unique?
SolarDuck’s offshore floating solar technology expands solar energy’s potential. It solves the renewable energy land shortage. Adding floating solar to an offshore wind farm creates building and maintenance efficiencies. It uses ocean space more efficiently to generate electricity (using the space between the wind turbines).
Complementary wind and sun resources balance output.
Offshore solar farms require a technology that can withstand high waves, strong winds, and corrosion. SolarDuck’s triangular-shaped platform floats several meters above the ocean and moves with the waves like a carpet. Bureau Veritas approved it as the world’s first offshore floating solar system.
Keeping key electrical components dry, clean, and stable allows safe operations with little maintenance.
RWE is always seeking novel solutions to boost offshore renewable energy generation, says Wind Offshore CEO Sven Utermöhlen. Together with SolarDuck, we want to explore offshore floating solar. This creates prospects for countries with low wind speeds and high sun irradiation. We’re testing revolutionary offshore floating solar technologies with the SolarDuck pilot. We seek to hasten the energy transition, improve the marine environment, and integrate energy systems. Together, we can use tomorrow’s technologies for today’s projects.
Koen Burgers, CEO of SolarDuck, says, “The need for secure, sustainable, and economical energy necessitates fresh and immediate answers from the industry in Europe and beyond.” SolarDuck brings solar power to the waters, the next frontier. Showing SolarDuck’s resilient technology in the North Sea will allow us to deploy it elsewhere in the world. RWE is a strong partner who shares our ambition of energizing the planet with floating offshore solar. I’m looking forward to our organizations working together to do so.
RWE is bidding on the offshore wind farm Hollandse Kust West, where SolarDuck’s technology will be used in a more extensive demonstration project. In a statement, RWE said “integrating offshore floating solar into an offshore wind farm” was a “more efficient use of ocean space for energy generation.”The new initiative is not the first to combine solar and wind.RWE is not the first to mix solar and wind energy. Hollandse Kust (Noord) wind farm will feature a floating solar technology demonstration.
CrossWind is a collaboration formed by Eneco and Shell to build Hollandse Kust (Noord).EDP opened a 5MW floating solar park in Alqueva this month. In a release, the park with over 12,000 solar panels was called “Europe’s largest in a reservoir.”According to EDP, a Portuguese energy corporation, the project would mix solar with Alqueva dam hydropower electricity. Plans call for a battery storage system. All of the above projects contribute to “hybridization,” which mixes renewable energy systems in one area. The gamble on hybridization, which combines water, the solar, wind, and storage, was defined as a “logical growth path” by EDP CEO Miguel Stilwell d’Andrade last week. He said EDP will keep investing in hybridization because it enabled the company to produce electricity affordably and maximize its resources.