Bluewater to further develop flexible floating offshore solar concept

Dutch floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) specialist Bluewater Energy Services has been awarded a demonstration project to further develop the flexible floating offshore solar concept.

Courtesy of Bluewater
Courtesy of Bluewater

Bluewater was awarded the demonstration project by the Hernieuwbare Energietransitie – Renewable Energy Transition (HER+) fund, a Dutch grant scheme for innovative projects that lead to cost-effective CO2 reductions by 2030.

The system developed by Bluewater consists of flexible floating units with flexible solar panels mounted on them. It will be installed in the North Sea, offshore the Netherlands.

The concept has been demonstrated in a small-scale demonstration project on the lake of Oostvoorne. 

Bluewater is a part of a consortium led by the Dutch research institute TNO which last year launched a study into flexible floating solar energy systems as a potentially viable technology for offshore floating solar farms.

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In this study, the consortium is looking at various aspects, such as the energy yield of the flexible solar panels, behaviour of the floating units when faced by waves and strong winds, growth of organic material on the units, and economic viability.

Solar on water is expected to make a key contribution to the energy transition, according to TNO, as solar energy capacity of 200GWp is predicted for the Netherlands in 2050, including 25GWp of solar panels on inland waters, and 45GWp installed offshore solar energy.

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