After wind power, solar energy is also coming from the sea
Companies from Belgium and Luxembourg are planning to set up the first solar power plants on the open sea in the North Sea. They are to be used in combination with offshore wind power.24 Aug 2019 Roland Freist
The consortium is being led by the international planning and construction company Tractebel from Brussels, which operates mainly in the energy sector. The partners include the Jan De Nul Group from Luxembourg and the Deme Group, both of which specialize in plant operation at sea, sea dredging and land reclamation, along with the solar module manufacturer Soltech and Ghent University. Together they are planning to have a pilot project ready for the first floating solar power plant at sea by next year. Those involved regard the biggest challenge as designing modules that can withstand salt water, strong currents and waves. They also have to come up with a cost-effective concept for the floating structure. In addition, the partners want to investigate the integration of the floating PV modules into the ecosystem.
The consortium was founded as part of the Flemish Blue Cluster . The project is being funded by the Flemish government organization VLAIO ; the budget is EUR 2 million. The consortium is planning to develop new concepts and carry out laboratory and field tests to explore the opportunities for commercial use of the technology.
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