Two out of six platforms hit the water for Dutch offshore solar pilot

Two out of six platforms hit the water for Dutch offshore solar pilot

Dutch-Norwegian company SolarDuck has launched the first two platforms for the Merganser offshore floating solar demonstration project into the water at TMA Logistics in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Source: SolarDuck

The Merganser offshore floating solar demonstrator plant will have an installed capacity of 520 kWp and will include six interconnected platforms.

The platform floaters are manufactured at a Damen Yard in Poland, while assembly takes place in Amsterdam.

Merganser is expected to enable SolarDuck’s technology to be fully certified for North Sea conditions, allowing it to capture learnings, deliver upcoming projects in the Netherlands, Japan and Malaysia as well as accelerate the commercialization of the technology to reach the company’s 1 GW ambition by 2030.

RWE is a project partner to the Merganser pilot and a strategic partner to SolarDuck. The supplier partners include companies such as Norsk Hydro, Damen Shipyards and others that are setting standards to build up the offshore floating solar industry.

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.

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According to SolarDuck, the pilot will withstand extreme offshore conditions, including high waves up to 13,5 meters, strong winds, and a corrosive offshore environment. 

Merganser will be an operational laboratory for SolarDuck, which together with consortium partners TU Delft, TNO, MARIN and Deltares will gather relevant data, such as platform motions, energy output and life below the water surface. This will allow TNO to make a validated digital twin of the concept and Deltares to gain insight into the ecological effects of offshore floating solar energy.

Don Hoogendoorn, Co-Founder and CTO of SolarDuck, emphasized the vast opportunities floating solar brings to the industry at the Offshore Energy Exhibition & Conference 2023 in Amsterdam, stating that it has a number of advantages compared to offshore wind: “The nice thing about solar is that it is very scalable, much more scalable than offshore wind. So of course, it takes a while to get there, but then we can scale on a gigawatt scale and the ambition is in 2030 to deploy at least one gigawatt per year. That is the North Sea, but the world is much bigger.”

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