North Sea offshore floating solar project secures funding


SolarDuck, a Dutch-Norwegian offshore floating solar developer, has agreed to develop a pilot project in the North Sea in cooperation with the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN), and Deltares. The consortium has secured €7.8 million in funding from the Dutch government.

The installation will feature six interconnected platforms mounted on synthetic anchors. It will be built to withstand extreme offshore conditions. The pilot project is expected to demonstrate that offshore floating solar can be safely installed between offshore wind turbines.

SolarDuck will design a “pop-up” assembly line for in-situ construction of future commercial-seized Merganser units. These will have a capacity of at least 5 MW and fit in containers for efficient transport.

The research institutes will test the solar platform and electrical systems for corrosion resistance, UV degradation of the synthetic anchor, and marine growth on the floaters. The group will also conduct research on the social acceptance of offshore floating solar.

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“When the project delivers the expected results, it can easily be upgraded to gigawatt scale, making it ideal for coastal (mega)cities’ energy needs,” the consortium said in a statement, noting that he project will be compeleted by the end of 2024.

“We are very proud to have the DEI+ subsidy on board to build a scalable floating solar energy solution,” said Don Hoogendoorn, the CTO of SolarDuck. “Together, we’ll make this project successful and make sustainable offshore solar energy commercially viable much faster.”

SolarDuck was recently selected to build another 5 MW offshore floating solar project in the North Sea.

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