New partnership takes solar panels out to sea

Rendered image of floating solar park at sea
Image: RWE/SolarDuck

RWE Renewables and Dutch-Norwegian company SolarDuck have signed a collaboration agreement to develop the use of floating solar parks at sea.

To accelerate the learnings on SolarDuck’s floating solar technology, RWE will invest in a first offshore pilot in the North Sea. The project is a
first step in the collaboration and lays the foundation for a larger demonstration project at the Dutch offshore wind farm Hollandse Kust West (HKW). RWE is tendering for this project, and has included SolarDuck into its bid with a highly innovative combination of offshore floating solar with integrated storage solutions.

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The offshore floating solar technology, as developed by SolarDuck, establishes a new frontier for solar energy and provides an answer to increasing land scarcity for the generation of renewable energy. The integration of offshore floating solar into an offshore wind farm is a
more efficient use of ocean space for energy generation (using the space between the wind turbines) and allows for synergies with regards to the construction and maintenance of the multi-source renewable energy plant.

Taking solar farms offshore requires a technology which is able to withstand rough offshore conditions, including high waves, strong winds and a corrosive environment. SolarDucks unique, 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.

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Sven Utermöhlen, CEO Wind Offshore of RWE Renewables, said, “RWE is constantly looking for innovative ways to further improve the production of renewable energy offshore. We are very keen to further explore the potential of offshore floating solar together with our partner SolarDuck.

“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. We want to contribute to accelerate the energy transition, have a positive impact on marine ecology and help to integrate energy systems. Together we can make a real difference using tomorrow’s technology for today’s projects.”

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