SolarDuck and RWE rock with offshore floating solar pilot project.

By Oliver Townsend Jul 5, 2024
SolarDuck and RWE successfully installed offshore floating solar pilot Merganser off the Dutch coast.jpegOrginal image from:

Solar energy has been a rapidly growing industry, with innovations constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible. Recently, SolarDuck, in collaboration with RWE, successfully installed an offshore floating solar pilot project named Merganser off the Dutch coast. This project marks a significant step forward in the development of offshore floating solar technology. Let’s delve into the details of this groundbreaking project and the implications it has for the renewable energy sector.

SolarDuck and RWE: A Collaborative Success

The offshore floating solar project Merganser, developed by SolarDuck, a Dutch-Norwegian company, in partnership with RWE, aims to test and showcase the structural, mooring, and electrical designs necessary for large-scale commercial deployment of offshore floating photovoltaic (OFPV) systems. The pilot project, located in the Dutch North Sea, boasts a capacity of 0.5-megawatt peak (MWp) and consists of six interconnected platforms designed to withstand extreme offshore conditions. The successful installation of the floating platforms at a 20-meter water depth highlights the technological prowess of SolarDuck and the support provided by RWE.

Offshore Floating Solar: A New Frontier

The installation of Merganser emphasizes the potential of offshore floating solar as a viable renewable energy solution, especially for countries with lower average wind speeds but abundant sunlight. The unique design of SolarDuck’s triangular-shaped platform allows it to float above the water, ensuring the stability and integrity of critical components even in challenging offshore environments. This innovative approach has earned SolarDuck the world’s first certification for OFPV by Bureau Veritas, underscoring the quality and reliability of their technology.

Driving Innovation and Sustainability

According to Sven Utermöhlen, CEO of RWE Offshore Wind, the successful deployment of Merganser provides invaluable insights into the possibilities of offshore floating solar and its synergies with existing offshore wind farms. The collaboration between RWE and SolarDuck, supported by partners like TNO, TU Delft, MARIN, and Deltares, showcases the power of collective expertise in driving innovation and sustainability in the energy sector. By leveraging RWE’s offshore knowledge and SolarDuck’s technological ingenuity, the project sets the stage for accelerated deployment of OFPV on a global scale.

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