To study the prospects of setting up a floating offshore PV farm at the North Sea, an Utrecht University team will examine energy production at the offshore prototype, located 15 km off the coast of The Hague at a testing zone known as the North Sea Farm (Photo Credit: Jai79/www.goodfreephotos.com)
- An offshore seaweed farm in the Netherlands’ North Sea could get a large solar power farm
- A pilot project, financed with €1.2 million ($1.48 million) in government funding, will be launched in 2019
- If successful, it could lead to a 2.5 km2 floating solar plant by 2021
- Panels will be moored between existing cables of wind turbines for transporting energy to the Dutch mainland
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A large solar power farm is being planned for an offshore seaweed farm within three years for supplying clean energy to the Dutch mainland. The project was devised by the Netherlands-based Oceans of Energy, an organization that develops and delivers clean energy through floating systems on oceans.
A Reuters report quoted Oceans of Energy’s founder Allard Van Hoeken saying that a 30 m2 pilot project with €1.2 million ($1.48 million) in government funding will be launched in 2019. The pilot project will assess how the equipment functions, weather conditions, environmental impact and energy output of the panels. A consortium of energy producers, scientists and researchers will work together to set up a 2.5 km2 area of floating solar panels by 2021.
Netherlands’ Utrecht University will examine energy production at the offshore prototype, located around 15 km off the coast of The Hague at the North Sea Farm testing zone.
According to the Reuters article, panels will be moored between existing wind turbines and connected to the same cables to transport energy to the end users. With no cost of land, said Van Hoeken, prices for offshore solar energy will be cheaper than offshore wind and mainland power sources.
The project, set up to address the problem of land shortage, would place the panels where there is more sunlight. In addition, water under the panels would act as a cooling system for the panels.
In 2017, the Netherlands installed 853 MW of which only 45 MW was ground mounted, the large majority was rooftop systems (see Netherlands Installed 853 MW PV In 2017).