OranjeWind & World's Biggest Floating Solar Project Join Forces

AI generated image of an offshore solar project
Updated Published

The Nautical Sunrise consortium is on a mission to establish the largest offshore floating solar (OFS) power project in the world, situated off the coast of the Netherlands.

The consortium has initiated research and development efforts for the OFS technology and its components, with the project valued at €8.4m ($9.1m) and receiving €6.8m in funding from the Horizon Europe programme. The initiative aims at facilitating the widespread use and marketability of OFS systems, both as independent units and when combined with offshore wind farms.

The development team includes a variety of partners such as the Dutch Marine Energy Centre, SolarDuck, RWE, Blunova, Bridon-Bekaert, The Ropes Group, Deltares, Hasselt University, KU Leuven, Oxford, Sintef Industry, Sintef Ocean, The Catalonia Institute for Energy Research, INESC TEC, and WavEC Offshore Renewables.

A key aspect of the project is the creation of a 5MW OFS system leveraging SolarDuck’s technology for floating solar panels, with RWE financing its installation and deployment. This system will be electrically integrated and certified, set to be located within the OranjeWind – Hollandse Kust West VII – wind farm, managed by RWE off the Netherlands' west coast.

Additionally, the project will evaluate the environmental impact, recyclability, and sustainability throughout the entire lifespan of these systems. This evaluation will extend beyond the pilot project to encompass several GW-scale commercial initiatives, offering a thorough insight into the technology’s environmental effects.

Simon Stark, CTO of the Dutch Marine Energy Centre, highlighted the significance of the project, stating, “Not only do we have the chance to address important knowledge gaps around the design and environmental impact of offshore solar. Together with RWE and the OranjeWind consortium, we can do so in full alignment and integration with a commercial offshore wind park.”