Construction begins on World’s largest floating offshore solar power plant

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SolarDuck has started installations on the 8.4 million euro (EUR) project, set to build the world’s largest offshore floating solar (OFS) project upon completion. The farm will be located within the OranjeWind wind farm, off the western coast of the Netherlands.

Construction Work for the five-megawatt (MW) offshore floating solar (OFS) power plant, world’s largest so far, has started and will include design and showcasing the facility using a modular solution, according to a press release. Netherlands-based Company, Solar Duck is providing the plant’s technology.

Planet’s landmass is limited and is already utilized for various purposes, from housing and agriculture to setting up industries. Acknowledging this, wind farms have already transitioned to offshore platforms where they can build much bigger turbines and tap into higher-speed winds to generate greater amounts of clean energy.

Offshore solar power plants

And just like land, inland water bodies too are very crowded and limited. Thus, covering canals with solar panels or big turbines may be a good idea in water-scarce regions. But all the world’s rivers and lakes occupy just 0.2 percent of the planet landmass. Moreover, lakes and rivers are already used for inland transportation, and installing solar panels can interfere with existing systems.

As you know, 71 percent of the planet’s surface area is covered with water, and this presents an opportunity to build large floating offshore solar power plants, with energy-harvesting apparatus using abundant sunlight. Netherlands-based SolarDuck is very keen to install offshore solar farms in areas it refers to as the Sun Belt.

Regions like the Caribbean, Japan, South Korea, and even Oman possess abundant sunlight but lack significant wind resources. Due to their limited landmass, establishing extensive energy infrastructure in these areas proves prohibitively costly. However, the adjacent waters offer promising opportunities for clean energy installations, like floating offshore solar power plants.

Read also: Danish Solar Company to build the World’s Largest Rooftop Solar Power Plant in Horsens

Cost of the World’s largest floating offshore solar power plant

SolarDuck has started work on the 8.4 million euro project to build the world’s largest offshore floating solar (OFS) power plant. The plant will be integrated, certified, and located within the OranjeWind wind farm project off the western coast of the Netherlands.

Before construction on World’s largest floating offshore solar power plant begins, a consortium called Nautical SUNRISE will conduct extensive research on various components this amazing project. This includes ensuring the offshore floating project’s reliability, survivability, electrical stability, and yield. And depending on the research findings, a detailed scale-up plan will be drawn to address the challenges faced and facilitate the commercialization of the project.

Read also: World’s largest rooftop-mounted solar power plants

Additionally, the consortium, Nautical SUNRISE will also conduct a sustainability assessment of the project and consider factors like environmental impact, full life cycle, and circularity of the OFS systems. This will not be limited only to the demonstrator project but also include gigawatt-scale projects that might be taken up in the coming days.

In a press release, SolarDuck’s Chief Technology Officer, Don Hoogendoorn, highlighted that the World’s largest floating offshore solar power plant project serves as an opportunity for the company to advance the environmental boundaries of its design. Concurrently, it offers a platform to delve deeply into understanding the ecological implications and reliability of the design. This initiative aligns with SolarDuck’s commitment to innovation and sustainability, aiming to foster greater environmental stewardship while enhancing the reliability of their technology. Hoogendoorn emphasized the importance of this endeavor in furthering the company’s mission of harnessing renewable energy solutions for a more sustainable future.

Read also: German-Dutch consortium to build Merganser offshore PV plant in Belgium

As the world works to kick its addiction to fossil fuels, solar and wind power have been taking center stage. The dropping prices of renewable energy tech have a lot of people excited about a greener future. But some worry that these alternatives just can’t match the energy punch of oil, gas, and coal. Lower conversion rates mean you need a lot more wind turbines and solar panels to keep the lights on. Still, renewable champions remain optimistic that innovation will help solar and wind power go toe-to-toe with fossil fuels before long.