Ocean Sun completes 270 kW off-grid floating PV system at Spanish port


Ocean Sun, a Norway-based floating PV technology developer, has completed a 270 kW floating solar PV project that measures 50 m in diameter off the coast of La Palma island, in Spain's Canary Islands.

“The panels are connected to a single string inverter and will supply the local industry through subsea cable,” the company's CEO, Børge Bjørneklett, told pv magazine, noting that it is not a grid-connected solution.

The plant is based on Ocean Sun's novel system design featuring a thin floating membrane that is just 1 mm thick. It also features customized monocrystalline modules provided by China-based GCL System Integration (GCL SI).

The installation at Tazacorte is part of the three-year project “Bringing Ocean Sun Systems to Market”, codenamed Boost, that is aimed to demonstrate and validate a solution for seawater floating PV. It was funded in part by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program and coordinated by Ocean Sun.

As part of the project, the site-specific design verification was obtained early on from Norway’s DNV and done according to Ocean Sun's design premise.

The BOOST consortium includes the Technological Institute of the Canary Islands (ITC) and the Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands (PLOCAN), both based in Spain, plus Norway-based Fred Olsen Renewables and Innosea, based in France.

Ongoing testing of water ingress protection, mechanical integrity of cells and PV performance are activities undertaken by Ocean Sun and GCL SI before and in parallel to the Spanish project, according to Bjørneklett. For example, the modules’ frameless design, meant to reduce aluminum usage, passed immersion tests by TUV Rheinland in heated seawater under 1500 V tension.

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