Oceans of Energy’s floating solar system weathers through all North Sea storms

Dutch developer of offshore floating solar technology Oceans of Energy has reached a milestone with its offshore floating solar demonstrator which survived all storms encountered in the North Sea in the past 18 months.

Oceans of Energy's offshore floating solar system (Courtesy of Oceans of Energy)
Oceans of Energy's offshore floating solar system (Courtesy of Oceans of Energy)
Oceans of Energy’s offshore floating solar system (Courtesy of Oceans of Energy)

Said to be the first offshore floating solar system in the world, the installation survived all storms in the year and a half since its deployment, including storms Ciara, Dennis, Bella and Evert.

This is an enormous milestone for the company and the energy sector, as it shows that the system is ready for the realization of combined offshore solar and wind projects creating  100 to 5.000MW of offshore solar energy per project, according to Oceans of Energy.

Allard van Hoeken, founder and CEO of Oceans of Energy, said: “When I first had the idea of offshore floating solar systems, to save land space, some hurdles came to mind. The largest one being the enormous challenge of keeping any system alive at full sea. The North Sea is one of the roughest seas in the world.

“Thirteen-meter-high waves occur at times. So, it is with immense pride that we announce that our system has survived these conditions for one and a half years. Nothing stands in the way now of megawatt scale of offshore solar farms all over the world”.

In December 2019, Oceans of Energy deployed its floating solar system off the Dutch coast.

One year later, an additional offshore array was set up further off the coast at the North Sea Farmers Test Site.

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In recent months both offshore solar systems were brought together and are now operating as one large offshore solar farm system, located 15 kilometres off the coast of The Hague.

The tow and installation of both systems has been supported by the Interreg North-West Europe-funded project Ocean Demo

By using only 5% of the Dutch North Sea half of the total energy demand – six times the current electricity demand – of the Netherlands can be generated, Oceans of Energy claims.

This can be accomplished by using the space in-between offshore wind turbines, avoiding use of scarce land, which presents an enormous benefit especially in the light of pressing issues with solar panels on land, the company said.

To remind, Oceans of Energy has recently been granted a subsidy for the development of another offshore floating solar system off the coast of The Hague.

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The subsidy, awarded through REACT-EU (Recovery Assistance for Cohesion and the Territories of Europe), is expected to contribute to the accelerated development and upscaling of offshore floating solar industry in the Netherlands.