Norwegian floating PV specialist Ocean Sun and South Korean tech company EN Technologies have signed an agreement to develop the pilot projects of the 2.1 GW floating solar complex the Korean government is planning near the Saemangeum tidal flat, on the coast of the Yellow Sea.
The agreement includes a technology license grant for a demonstration system with a follow-on option for a minimum 100 MW of generation capacity within 18 months, Ocean Sun has stated. The deal envisages the possibility of an additional 400 MW within five years.
“The combination of South Korean technology and manufacturing excellence, with Norwegian maritime and photovoltaic expertise, is a very good match,” said Ocean Sun CEO Børge Bjørneklett. The Korean partner will localize production of project components.
Ocean Sun has developed a floating solar system for near-shore and semi-sheltered waters. The patented design features a buoyancy ring anchored to the seabed with four mooring points and 12 lines. “Most of the system weight is located on the surface where the modules are deployed,” Bjørneklett said in a recent interview with pv magazine.
The Korean government unveiled the KRW4.6 trillion ($3.82 billion) project last July and it overcame its first hurdle four months later, when the South Korean Ministry of Defense confirmed the huge plant would not affect flight operations at a nearby U.S. forces base.
The government has recently introduced new rules to prioritize solar energy projects built with low-carbon-footprint modules and the regulations are expected to favor domestic solar cell and panel manufacturers.