WavEC involved in new offshore solar project

WavEC is one of the 15 partners of an EU Joint Industry Project, in which offshore solar technology is scaled up to standard formats of 150 MW enabling the building of gigawatt-scale farms.

 

These building blocks are to become a new standard in offshore energy farms. Placing solar farms within offshore wind farms makes better use of the sea space, increases energy output, provides more continuous power over the seasons, and will drive down costs for green electricity production and the energy system. 

 

The partners

The collaboration coordinated by RINA, between offshore solar developer Oceans of Energy, four technology developers (Solarge, TKF, Pauwels Transformers, SolarCleano), five technical- and environmental consultancies (RINA, ABS, Aquatera Ltd, Aquatera Atlantico, and WavEC), three testing laboratories (MARIN, Fraunhofer CSP, SIRRIS), the marine science-policy think-tank European Marine Board, and the offshore wind farm developer Vattenfall as potential client for implementation, is aimed to resolve remaining challenges for the rollout of large scale offshore solar into new- and existing wind farms. This includes proving the robustness and performance of the solar panels in offshore conditions, as well as researching the impact on the environment while securing sustainability in the whole value-chain of this emerging industry. 

 

BAMBOO

The envisioned result is that project BAMBOO (Build scAlable Modular Bamboo-inspired Offshore sOlar systems) matures the technologies and allows for attracting the funds for the first of a kind 100-200 MW offshore solar farm at a Vattenfall offshore wind farm before the turn of the decade. At which wind farm (development) this will take place still has to be decided. 

 
Lower investments in total energy system predicted 

The complementarity of energy patterns of a co-located offshore solar and wind farm allows the farm to use the same grid connection more efficiently, thus reducing the need for investments in expanding the energy system. In addition, the space needed, both on land and at sea, for generating renewable energy can be drastically reduced by using the offshore wind farm space for solar as well. Moreover, the increased scale of offshore solar farms can reduce their environmental impacts per installed capacity, through a minimal need for anchors on the seabed and centralizing the electricity export cable in a larger floating island.  

 
Support in the development of international standards  

The project will contribute to the development of international standards and testing methodologies for offshore solar technology. For this, the innovation program will conduct hydrodynamic assessments at MARIN, climate chamber tests at SIRRIS, tests for PV panels at Fraunhofer, and accelerated lifetime tests based on offshore operations & measurements. Further research will be conducted on predicting and improving the lifetime energy performance. There will also be a focus on measuring and predicting the environmental impact of the technology, including through methods for contributing to nature enhancements and for end-of-life strategies. Furthermore, the activities aim towards internationally aligned policies including for environmental assessment criteria frameworks. 

 

This project is funded by CINEA - European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency.

Find out more about the project and WavEC's contributions to it here.

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