Europe’s energy giants explore potential of floating solar

Floating photo voltaic panels in the Netherlands. A variety of big strength companies are searching into the prospective of combining floating photo voltaic with other vitality resources.

Mischa Keijser | Picture Source | Getty Illustrations or photos

German strength firm RWE is to invest in a pilot venture centered close to the deployment of floating solar engineering in the North Sea, as aspect of a broader collaboration targeted on the improvement of “floating photo voltaic parks.”

Established to be set up in waters off Ostend, Belgium, the pilot, called Merganser, will have a potential of .5 megawatt peak, or MWp. In a assertion previously this week, RWE claimed Merganser would be Dutch-Norwegian firm SolarDuck’s initially offshore pilot.

RWE said Merganser would give both by itself and SolarDuck with “significant 1st-hand working experience in a person of the most tough offshore environments in the world.”

Learnings gleaned from the venture would make it possible for for a faster commercialization of the technology from 2023, it added.

RWE explained SolarDuck’s technique as being based all over a structure enabling the solar panels to “float” meters earlier mentioned drinking water and experience waves “like a carpet.” 

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A more time time period purpose of the collaboration is for SolarDuck’s know-how to be used in a more substantial demonstration challenge at the however to be designed Hollandse Kust West offshore wind farm, which RWE is at the moment tendering for.

In its assertion, RWE mentioned the “integration of offshore floating solar into an offshore wind farm” was “a additional effective use of ocean room for energy era.”

The plan of combining wind and photo voltaic is not exceptional to RWE. The Hollandse Kust (noord) wind farm, which will also be located in the North Sea, is also planning to deploy a floating photo voltaic technological know-how demonstration.

CrossWind, the consortium performing on Hollandse Kust (noord), is a joint venture concerning Eneco and Shell.

Previously this month, Portuguese strength agency EDP inaugurated a 5 MW floating solar park in Alqueva. It described the park, which is composed of virtually 12,000 photovoltaic panels, as “the major in Europe in a reservoir.”

The job would permit solar electricity and hydroelectric strength from the dam at Alqueva to be combined, EDP reported. There are also designs to set up a battery storage program.

All the above assignments feed into the concept of “hybridization,” whereby unique renewable electrical power technologies and programs are combined on 1 web site.

In reviews printed very last week, EDP CEO Miguel Stilwell d’Andrade mentioned that “the guess on hybridization, by combining electrical power produced from drinking water, sun, wind and storage” represented a “reasonable route of growth.”

EDP would continue on to invest in hybridization since it optimized sources and enabled the organization to generate strength that was cheaper, he additional.

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