A Belgian consortium including the Tractebel engineering subsidiary of French energy company Engie has unveiled a new offshore floating platform for photovoltaic applications.
The group, which also includes Dredging, Environmental and Marine Engineering NV (DEME), marine offshore specialist Jan De Nul and Ghent University, is planning to deploy its first demonstrator off the Belgian coast in the summer of 2023.
Called Seavolt, the floating platform is reportedly able to withstand difficult offshore conditions.
“The modular design allows for easy adaptation to different sites and demands,” the consortium said in a statement, without providing further technical details. “Benefits include local renewable energy production and the possibility to install the panels in offshore windfarms. Another advantage is the addition of large volumes of renewable energy capacity in a relatively short time.”
Tractebel is also working on another offshore solar project in the North Sea. The group includes DEME, solar installer Soltech NV and Ghent University and is planning to install a €2 million array near an aquaculture farm and offshore wind project.
In a study published in 2020, scientists from Utrecht University in the Netherlands claimed offshore PV plants could be more productive than ground-mounted arrays after running a simulation comparing a North Sea project to a conventional system at the Utrecht Photovoltaic Outdoor Test field.
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