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SolarDuck and RWE install offshore floating solar pilot Merganser

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Energy Global,

With the support of RWE, the Dutch-Norwegian company SolarDuck, has installed its offshore floating solar project, Merganser. The pilot project aims to test and demonstrate the structural, mooring, and electrical designs and acquire knowledge about manufacturing, assembly, offshore installation, and maintenance methodologies required for large scale commercial deployment of offshore floating solar.

Merganser has a capacity of 0.5 MWp and is located in the Dutch North Sea, approximately 12 km off the coast of Scheveningen. The scalable concept consists of six interconnected platforms that can withstand extreme offshore conditions. The floating platforms were successfully connected to the mooring system in water depth of 20 m. RWE will continue to provide its offshore know-how and technical support to the pilot project.

Sven Utermöhlen, CEO of RWE Offshore Wind, said: “Standalone or also in combination with offshore wind farms, offshore floating solar could open up further offshore renewable energy opportunities – especially for countries with lower average wind speeds but lots of sunlight. With Merganser, we are gaining unique insights and first-hand experience in one of the most challenging offshore environments in the world.”

Taking solar farms offshore requires technology that is able to withstand rough offshore conditions. SolarDuck´s triangular-shaped platform is designed to float several metres above the water, following the waves like a carpet. In this way, the design is keeping critical components dry, clean, and stable, as well as securing the structural integrity of the semi-submersible floating structure. The design received recently the world’s first certification for OFPV by Bureau Veritas.

Koen Burgers, CEO of SolarDuck, added: “The successful installation of Merganser is proof of the dedication of SolarDuck’s team to electrify the world with offshore floating solar. However, we are not doing this alone. Our project partner, RWE, is a supporter of our technology and vision, in addition to other partners such as TNO, TU Delft, MARIN, and Deltares. Together with numerous supply chain partners, including Damen Shipyards, TMA, and Norsk Hydro, we have turned hard work into a positive change for the energy space.”

Over the coming two years, Merganser will be monitored remotely with its more than 180 sensors fitted to monitor structural loads, connector and mooring loads and electrical performance, among other important performance criteria. Further to the above, Deltares – a Dutch independent institute for applied research – will support an extensive monitoring campaign on the ecological impact of OFPV.



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The Summer 2024 issue of Energy Global starts with a guest comment from Terrawatt on the streamlining of the permitting process in Italy, before moving on to a regional report from Frost & Sullivan on the energy landscape in Asia Pacific. This issue looks at key topics such as wind installation vessels, offshore wind turbine foundations, weather analysis, solar maintenance, and more!

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