SolarDuck forms consortium to facilitate offshore solar R&D – PV Tech

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SolarDuck was selected as the provider of offshore floating solar systems back in 2022, while the Nautical SUNRISE project started in December 2023.

The project will be led by the Dutch Marine Energy Centre (DMEC), and comprises 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.

With an investment of €8.4 million (US$9.1 million), of which €6.8 million supported by the Horizon Europe programme, the project will execute R&D on offshore floating solar systems and their components which will enable the deployment and commercialisation of large-scale offshore solar systems, both as a standalone and co-located with offshore wind farms.

SolarDuck’s CTO Don Hoogendoorn, said: “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 ecology and reliability of the design.”

Prior to the deployment of the solar system, the Nautical SUNRISE consortium aims to conduct “extensive” research and testing to ensure the reliability, survivability, electrical stability, and yield of offshore floating solar systems. The project also aims to assess the environmental footprint of these floating systems.

Netherlands’ offshore solar interest

This is the second European joint industry consortium to be unveiled in the past month, with solar offshore specialist Oceans of Energy partnering with 15 European companies to scale up offshore solar technology in the North Sea to a standard format of 150MW capacity in February 2024.

Even though the growth of floating solar capacity, this decade, is expected to be concentrated in China, India and Southeast Asia, the Netherlands has been a leading country, in Europe, towards the growth of offshore solar. The technology is expected to play a key role in accelerating the country’s energy transition, with the North Sea as a central part of deploying offshore solar capacity in the coming years, either as a standalone or co-located with offshore wind farms.

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