RWE taps into offshore floating solar

German energy firm RWE has penned a collaboration deal with Dutch-Norwegian firm SolarDuck to develop the use of floating solar parks at sea.

The deal will see RWE invest in a pilot project off the coast of Ostend in the Belgian North Sea with a nameplate capacity of 0.5 MWp in 2023. The pilot should lay the foundation for a larger demonstration project at the Dutch offshore wind farm Hollandse Kust West.

RWE is bidding for Hollandse Kust West and has included SolarDuck into its offering that could realise the integration of an offshore floating solar plant at a pre-commercial scale with 5 MWp combined with energy storage solutions into the offshore wind farm. 

SolarDuck´s triangular-shaped platform, which has received the world’s first certification for offshore floating solar by Bureau Veritas, is designed to float several meters above the water, following the waves like a carpet.

The initial project, named Merganser, will be SolarDuck’s first offshore pilot following the deployment of an inland pilot in the Netherlands last year. The aim is for the partners to gain first-hand experience in one of the most challenging offshore environments.

Under the collaboration agreement, RWE and SolarDuck said they would also explore new opportunities with the objective of developing commercial offshore floating solar parks, both stand-alone and hybrid.

Sven Utermöhlen, CEO Wind Offshore of RWE Renewables, stated: “RWE is constantly looking for innovative ways to further improve the production of renewable energy offshore. For countries with lower mean wind speeds but high solar irradiation, this opens up attractive opportunities. With the SolarDuck pilot we are gaining experience with a highly innovative offshore floating solar technology.” 

Adis Ajdin

Adis is an experienced news reporter with a background in finance, media and education. He has written across the spectrum of offshore energy and ocean industries for many years and is a member of International Federation of Journalists. Previously he had written for Navingo media group titles including Offshore Energy, Subsea World News and Marine Energy.
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