Offshore wind farm in North Sea to host 5 MW floating PV plant


SolarDuck has been selected as the exclusive provider of offshore solar technology for the Hollandse Kust West (HKW) wind farm in the North Sea, off the west coast of the Netherlands. German utility RWE won the bid to build the hybrid large-scale wind farm.

SolarDuck will build the 5 MW offshore solar array for the project, which will include an undisclosed amount of energy storage capacity. It is expected to go online in 2026, according to a statement by the two companies.

“SolarDuck, being the first to build a hybrid project at this scale, will demonstrate the robustness of our solution, prove the important role of system integration in building future-fit energy systems, and enable the scaling of the technology to accelerate its adoption,” said SolarDuck CEO Koen Burgers.

The Dutch offshore PV specialist expects the project to accelerate the commercialization of its offshore solar technology.

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“The complementarities between wind and solar resources as well as making better use of existing infrastructure and the ocean space will drive the growth of hybrid [offshore floating solar] projects,” it said in a statement.

In 2021, SolarDuck unveiled the first demonstrator project for its floating structure technology. The 64 kW system was deployed on an inshore site on the Waal (Rhine River), the widest river of the Netherlands, near IJzendoorn, a village in the province of Gelderland.

Its structures hold the solar panels more than 3 meters above the water surface. The system can handle coastal sea conditions and hurricane-force winds, but it is optimized for offshore sites in estuaries and natural harbors, as well as near-shore sites. The basic floating platforms are triangular structures measuring 16 meters x 16 meters x 16 meters. They resemble offshore floating wind platforms or floating oil platforms. They can be flexibly connected together to form large plants.

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