• FreShER research project of a group of Swedish, Spanish and Portuguese entities on floating PV technology has secured funding from the EU
  • Provided by the EMEF, the proceeds will help the project demonstrate an innovative mooring and anchoring infrastructure in a full-scale floating PV park for the marine energy industry
  • Through this project, the aim is to bring down costs of the infrastructure improving LCOE of floating PV technology and help expand its scope to ocean environment

A floating solar PV technology project is one among 26 new sustainable blue economy projects that the European Commission has selected to avail €19.1 million ($21.1 million) in total funding. The proceeds will come from the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMEF). The exact amount of this funding for the floating PV project was not revealed.

A joint project of partners from Spain, Portugal and Sweden (RISE), the FreShER project aims to demonstrate an innovative mooring solution and anchoring infrastructure in a full-scale floating PV park for the marine energy industry. This should help bring down the cost of anchoring floating solar parks significantly in the form of ‘greatly improved’ Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE).

As costs come down and the anchoring technology adapts to the ocean environment—the aim of the project—, the consortium hopes it will lead to increased expansion of the technology and make ocean based solar parks profitable. The project will start in November 2019 and will last for two years.

Swedish elastic mooring solutions provider Seaflex is leading the project while Portuguese energy firm EDP will be responsible for commercial installation and testing of the project. Spanish engineering company ISIGENERE, WAVEC Offshore Renewables and EDP Centre for New Energy Technologies (EDP CNET) are also working on the project.

The world has potential to deploy more than 400 GW of floating solar power in a conservative scenario, according to a World Bank and SERIS report, while by the end of 2018, total global floating PV capacity had reached 1.3 GW. The two entities recently released a handbook with the aim of establishing best practices for the deployment of this technology (see World Bank & SERIS Release Floating PV Handbook).