Project to develop world’s largest offshore floating solar power plant takes off – Offshore Energy

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The consortium behind the Nautical SUNRISE project has started work to develop the world’s largest offshore floating solar power installation.

Source: SolarDuck

The € 8.4 million project, supported by € 6.8 million of the Horizon Europe program, started in December 2023 to execute research and development on offshore floating solar (OFS) systems and its components.

The outcomes of the project are expected to enable the large-scale deployment and commercialization of OFS systems in the future, both as standalone systems and integrated into offshore wind farms.

This project aims to design, build, and showcase a 5 MW offshore floating solar system using the modular solution of the Dutch floating solar company SolarDuck. 

With RWE providing the investment for the installation and deployment, the system is planned to be electrically integrated, certified, and located within RWE’s OranjeWind (Hollandse Kust West VII) wind farm off the west coast of The Netherlands.

Before proceeding with offshore deployment, the Nautical SUNRISE consortium is to run detailed research and testing to guarantee the reliability, survivability, electrical stability, and yield of offshore floating solar systems.

This project is made possible through a collaboration of the following consortium partners: Dutch Marine Energy Centre (DMEC), SolarDuck, RWE, Blunova – a Carlo Maresca Group company, Bridon-Bekaert The Ropes Group, Deltares, Hasselt University (UHasselt), KU Leuven, Oxford PV, SINTEF Industry, SINTEF Ocean, The Catalonia Institute for Energy Research (IREC-CERCA), INESC TEC, and WavEC Offshore Renewables.

“We are excited to coordinate the Nautical SUNRISE project as one of the flagship initiatives of offshore solar in Europe,” said DMEC CTO Simon Stark

“Not only do we have the chance to address important knowledge gaps around the design and environmental impact of offshore solar. Together with RWE and the OranjeWind consortium, we can do so in full alignment and integration with a commercial offshore wind park.”

A detailed scale-up strategy is said to be formulated in order to tackle challenges and foster opportunities for advancing the commercialization of offshore solar systems.

The Nautical SUNRISE project will consider the environmental impact and sustainability of OFS. Therefore, the project will evaluate the environmental footprint, circularity, and full life cycle sustainability of offshore floating solar systems. 

This assessment is said to extend beyond the demonstrator project, including multiple GW-scale commercial projects, ensuring a thorough understanding of the technology’s ecological implications.

“This subsidy allows SolarDuck with its partners to push the environmental boundary of the design and at the same time get an in-depth understanding of the ecological and reliability of the design,” said SolarDuck’s CTO, Don Hoogendoor.

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