Photo: The 50kW offshore floating solar unit (Courtesy of Oceans of Energy)

Dutch floating solar unit weathers through major North Sea storms intact

A 50kW offshore floating solar system, developed and deployed by Dutch company Oceans of Energy, has withstood the forces of two major storms that hit the North Sea over the past month.

The 50kW offshore floating solar unit (Courtesy of Oceans of Energy)
The 50kW offshore floating solar unit (Courtesy of Oceans of Energy)

Installed in 2019, and later expanded to 50kW capacity, Oceans of Energy’s offshore floating solar unit has confirmed its ability to successfully withstand hurricane-force wind gusts and choppy waves – the forces it was designed to survive.

Namely, the system – located 15 kilometers off the coast of The Hague – has weathered through two major storms that hit the North Sea in the past 30 days with flying colors, according to Oceans of Energy.

The first test came with the Storm Corrie which hit the Netherlands on January 31, 2022. This first storm of the year hit its peak around noon and hurricane-force wind gusts of 110 km/hour were recorded.

Oceans of Energy informed its system withstood these extreme rough sea conditions that were also accompanied by wave heights of up to nine meters.

More recently, another storm – dubbed Eunice – tested Oceans of Energy’s offshore floating solar system again, in even more extreme conditions.

Wind gusts of 141 km/h have been recorded close to the system, with wind forces of 12 Bft and waves reaching the height of 10 meters.

Over the weekend we have all seen the havoc Eunice caused on land structures, now imagine these forces at sea. And again, we are proud to see our system does what its designed to do and is still going strong in the midst of the big waves at the North Sea, surviving extreme rough sea conditions,” Oceans of Energy said in a statement.

Putting the challenge into perspective, last week’s Storm Eunice has made it to the top five heaviest storms of the past 52 years, Oceans of Energy noted.

To remind, Oceans of Energy plans to upscale the 50kW offshore floating solar system to 1MW in capacity in the coming years.

Later, the company will work to further scale up the system off the coast of Scheveningen to 10MW and then to 100MW, which is an equivalent to an energy supply for 30,000 households.

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