Bureau Veritas Group has awarded Dutch-Norwegian company SolarDuck the world’s first prototype certification for floating solar technology.

SolarDuck wins ‘world’s first’ prototype certification for floating solar technology

Bureau Veritas Group has awarded Dutch-Norwegian company SolarDuck the world’s first prototype certification for floating solar technology.

Source: SolarDuck

This floating solar technology’s implementation was demonstrated in SolarDuck’s 0.5 MW pilot project Merganser.

The certification of the Merganser prototype comes after receiving approval in principle (AiP) for its floating structure. 

Bureau Veritas assessed the prototype throughout the certification process, adhering to rules and standards, including guidance note NI631 on the Certification Scheme for Marine Renewable Energy Technologies.

The assessments examined the floating structure, mooring system, stability analysis, materials, and electrical safety systems. Future evaluations will focus on obtaining type certification for the technology.

“The certification of SolarDuck’s prototype Merganser reflects the collaborative efforts between Bureau Veritas and industry innovators in advancing sustainable energy solutions,” said Martijn Nieuwenhuijs, Country Chief Executive, Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore Netherlands.

“Our expertise in assessing structural integrity and conducting design evaluations played an important role in meeting technical standards, highlighting our commitment to fostering innovation while ensuring safety and reliability in offshore renewable energy projects.”

The Merganser project presents an offshore floating solar pilot capable of generating 520 kWp. The project consists of six interconnected platforms engineered to endure harsh offshore conditions such as high waves, strong winds, and corrosive environments.

The project’s design has been tested to withstand waves up to 11.6 meters high (with a directional 10-year return period) at a water depth of 21.5 meters at the North Sea Farmers test site.

In February 2024, SolarDuck launched the first two platforms for the Merganser offshore floating solar demonstration project into the water at TMA Logistics in Amsterdam, Netherlands. 

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The pilot period will last two to three years and will take place at the offshore test site North Sea Farmers, which is located 12 kilometers off the coast of The Hague, said to offer a realistic operational environment to test Merganser’s North Sea design capabilities.

“A key step in making the technology bankable is obtaining certification of the technology,” said SolarDuck’s CTO, Don Hoogendoorn.

“As long-standing partners, SolarDuck has cooperated closely together with Bureau Veritas to verify the technology for the harsh North Sea conditions, marking a significant milestone in the development of our offshore floating solar technology.” 

Recently, Solar Duck, in collaboration with the Nautical SUNRISE consortium and supported by €6.8 million from the Horizon Europe program, initiated the development of the world’s largest offshore floating solar power installation, a 5 MW system integrated with RWE’s OranjeWind wind farm off the coast of The Netherlands. 

The project aims to advance research and development on offshore floating solar systems, ensuring reliability, and environmental sustainability while paving the way for large-scale deployment and commercialization in the future.

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