SolarDuck, RWE install offshore floating solar pilot in North Sea

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Dutch-Norwegian offshore specialists SolarDuck, in collaboration with RWE, has installed an offshore floating solar pilot project in the Dutch North Sea.

The 0.5 MWp Merganser array is located 12 km off the coast of Scheveningen, the Netherlands. The pilot project is connected to a mooring system in depths of 20 meters.

SolarDuck and RWE said the pilot project is a scalable concept featuring six interconnected platforms capable of withstanding extreme offshore conditions. 

The project will include technical and environmental monitoring to explore large-scale commercial deployment of offshore floating solar. Over the next two years, Merganser will be monitored remotely with more than 180 sensors tracking structural loads, connector and mooring loads, and electrical performance.

“Standalone or also in combination with offshore wind farms, offshore floating solar could open up further offshore renewable energy opportunities – especially for countries with lower average wind speeds but lots of sunlight,” said Sven Utermöhlen, CEO of RWE Offshore Wind. “With Merganser, we are gaining unique insights and first-hand experience in one of the most challenging offshore environments in the world.”

Earlier this year, SolarDuck installed a floating solar demonstration unit in Japan, in collaboration with Tokyu Land. The company also said it plans to develop a 540 MW floating wind-solar project in partnership with Green Arrow Capital and New Developments.

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