Floating solar panels to be trialled in North Sea

Wind farms in the North Sea could soon have floating solar panels installed in the spaces between wind turbines to help boost renewable energy in Europe.

Dutch/Norwegian start-up SolarDuck has partnered with German energy firm RWE for the project, which will see a pilot installation placed in the North Sea off the coast of Ostend in Belgium.

In an article in The Independent, the proposed ‘solar park’ has been deemed relatively simple to set up as the technology utilises the existing cabling in situ for the wind turbines.

The solar panels are said to ride waves like a carpet with triangular-shaped platform designed to float several metres above the ocean.

SolarDuck’s CEO Koen Burgers says: “The need for secure, sustainable and affordable energy demands new and immediate answers from the industry in Europe and also globally. SolarDuck is part of this answer, allowing for solar deployments at sea opening up an exciting new market.

“Showcasing SolarDuck’s robust technology in rough North Sea conditions will enable us to deploy the technology practically anywhere in the world. We are very pleased that we found in RWE a strong partner who shares our vision of electrifying the world with offshore floating PV. I look forward to our organisations working together to achieve just that.”

RWE and SolarDuck plan to develop other offshore floating solar parks in identified key markets in Europe.

SolarDuck says the collaboration agreement accelerates the transition of its offshore floating solar technology towards bankable, commercial technology and speeds up the roll-out of the exciting new technology globally.

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