Oceans of Energy gets Bureau Veritas’ nod of approval for offshore floating solar system

Certification group Bureau Veritas has issued a world’s first ‘approval in principle’ for a high-wave offshore solar farm system design to a Dutch-based company Oceans of Energy.

Oceans of Energy's 0.5MW floating solar unit (Courtesy of Oceans of Energy)
Oceans of Energy’s 0.5MW floating solar unit (Courtesy of Oceans of Energy)

The approval in principle for the offshore solar farm system has been secured through close collaboration between Oceans of Energy and Bureau Veritas over the last couple of years.

It includes all aspects and products needed for the production of an offshore solar farm system. This entails Oceans of Energy’s design base, the designed floaters, the mounting of the solar panels, scale model testing reports and mooring system design.

The rough North Sea conditions were used in the reviewed tests on the system and load cases determined all the structural calculations that had to be fulfilled.

Oceans of Energy’s offshore solar farm system is the world’s first offshore solar farm proven in high waves, operating in the North Sea since 2019, according to Bureau Veritas.

The farm currently installed has a capacity of 0.5MW, but with its modular approach, it’s scalable to any size. It is said to have a unique lightweight design, as it relies on the sea surface directly as support, rather than on heavy structures above sea, which are normally used for offshore technology.

In order to withstand high waves and rough seas, it uses an innovative system combining rigid and flexible structures that allows it to ride on waves.

Such a novel system had not been used before in offshore high wave application, nevertheless, the system has recently entered its fourth year of successful operation in high waves.

Since its deployment, the system has withstood many heavy storms, with waves up to 9.9 meters high.

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The system was successfully basin-tested with 13-meter-high waves as well, according to the developer.

Allard van Hoeken, founder and CEO of Oceans of Energy, said: “Oceans of Energy is very proud to receive this approval in principle as we realize it is a testimony of sound engineering, a feasible and sound concept choice and a recognition as a leading technology with a promising future.

“It is of great reassurance to our stakeholders that the design of the floating farm and mooring system have been reviewed and approved by Bureau Veritas.”

Laurent Leblanc, senior vice president technical and operations at Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore, added: “We have extensive experience in the marine and offshore market that helps us to provide relevant and efficient support to pioneers such as Oceans of Energy.

“Our mission of ‘shaping a better maritime world’ is all about enabling these innovative solutions that support society’s new demands and aspirations. We would like to congratulate Oceans of Energy for this approval in principle and we look forward to collaborating on the next steps of their venture.”

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