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Dutch consortium builds the world’s first floating solar farm at sea

08 Feb 2018

Six Dutch companies and knowledge institutions are working together over the next three years on the development, construction and operation of the world's first floating solar power station. With financial support from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), the consortium is developing a floating power station that will soon generate clean energy at sea using solar panels.

The consortium consists of ECN, TNO, MARIN, TAQA and Oceans of Energy.

This pilot project known as 'Sun at Sea' aims to demonstrate technology to enable the generation of renewable energy at sea. To this end, a small-scale solar farm (peak production approximately 50 kW) has been designed, built and installed offshore near a small gas production platform. TNO is working with the project partners on the infrastructure to measure, record and analyse the performance of the solar farm.

The solar energy yield is subject to fluctuations just like wind energy. It is therefore essential to investigate how these fluctuations can be overcome since this will reduce dependence on gas and diesel generators without jeopardising security of supply. TNO will contribute expertise in the dynamic balancing of supply and demand for energy. We answer the question of whether a battery is needed and if so, how big it should be and whether it is necessary to have a gas/diesel generator ready in reserve.

The Netherlands is a leader in the field of offshore and maritime innovations, such as the sustainable production of energy. TNO supports initiatives in this area and makes various contributions to this. An illustrative example of this is North Sea Energy, , a clustering of strengths to make energy production from the North Sea in an economically and socially accountable way. This momentum is greatly strengthened by the Zon op Zee initiative to which top companies from the offshore industry are committed.

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