Adriatic Sea to host 100 MW offshore PV plant


Italian energy solutions provider and gas contractor Saipem has teamed up with Italy-based renewable energy company Qint'x to build a 100 MW offshore solar farm in the Adriatic Sea off the coast of Ravenna, located along the Riviera Romagnola in the northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna.

The two companies started the approval process for the Agnes project at the beginning of 2019. “The permitting process is ongoing and the concession request for the offshore area and permit for the construction should be finalized within the end of 2023,” a spokesperson from Saipem told pv magazine.”The entire facility is planned to come online by the end of 2025.”

The plant will be built with a modularized approach and may include a 50 MW battery to balance the grid demand peak.

Saipem, through its subsidiary Moss Maritime, is also partnering with Norwegian oil giant Equinor to test an offshore floating solar array off the island of Froya, near Trondheim, in the Norwegian Sea. “At the moment, there is no involvement of Equinor in the Agnes project,” Saipem's spokesperson stated, adding that the Italian project will differ from the Norwegian plant. “It will be adjusted to fit the local weather conditions”.

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Moss Maritime, which focuses on design and engineering services for the offshore energy sector, aims to become a leading provider of near coastal and offshore solutions for floating solar panel parks. Saipem expects to launch new offshore solar projects in the near future. “Most probably pilot projects first, but also commercial projects if applicable,” the spokesperson added.

The company will focus on the regions of Southeast Asia, North America, South America and the Mediterranean Sea. The company expects offshore PV installations to show a 5-10% higher production rate compared to ground-mounted installations.

Saipem recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Florence-based hydrogen specialist Alboran Hydrogen for the joint development of five green hydrogen plants — three in Italy, one in Albania and one in Morocco.

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