SolarDuck, with the support of RWE, has installed its floating solar project Merganser at the North Sea Farmers offshore test site in the Dutch North Sea.

SolarDuck and RWE install floating solar pilot at North Sea test site (Gallery)

Dutch-Norwegian company SolarDuck, with the support of offshore wind developer RWE, has installed its offshore photovoltaic (OFPV) project Merganser at the North Sea Farmers offshore test site in the Dutch North Sea. 

Source: SolarDuck

The pilot project aims to evaluate and demonstrate the structural, mooring, and electrical designs, and to gain insights into manufacturing, assembly, offshore installation, and maintenance methods necessary for large-scale commercial deployment of OFPV, said SolarDuck.

Over the next two years, Merganser will be remotely monitored using over 180 sensors to track structural, connector, mooring, and electrical performance in order to further investigate the technology. Also, the Dutch research institute Deltares will conduct an extensive ecological impact assessment of the floating solar project.

Source: SolarDuck

“The successful installation of Merganser is proof of the dedication of SolarDuck’s team to electrify the world with offshore floating solar. However, we are not doing this alone,” said Koen Burgers, CEO of SolarDuck.

“Our project partner, RWE, is a supporter of our technology and vision, in addition to other partners such as TNO, TU Delft, MARIN, and Deltares. Together with numerous supply chain partners, including Damen Shipyards, TMA, and Norsk Hydro, we have turned hard work into a positive change for the energy space.” 

Merganser, with a peak capacity of 0.5 MWp is located about 12 kilometers off Scheveningen’s coast. The scalable design comprises six interconnected platforms designed to endure severe offshore conditions. 

These floating platforms were effectively integrated into the mooring system at a water depth of 20 meters, said the company. RWE will continue to offer its offshore expertise and technical backing to the pilot project.

Source: SolarDuck

“Standalone or also in combination with offshore wind farms, offshore floating solar could open up further offshore renewable energy opportunities – especially for countries with lower average wind speeds but lots of sunlight. With Merganser, we are gaining unique insights and first-hand experience in one of the most challenging offshore environments in the world,” said Sven Utermöhlen, CEO of RWE Offshore Wind.

SolarDuck’s triangular platform floats meters above the water, moving with the waves to protect vital components from exposure, ensuring the stability and structural integrity of the semi-submersible design. Recently, the design received the first OFPV certification from Bureau Veritas.

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