Belgian Firms Unveil Harsh-environment Offshore Floating Solar Tech
The Belgian companies DEME, Tractebel, and Jan De Nul on Wednesday introduced a new harsh-environment offshore floating solar technology called SEAVOLT.
According to the three firms, SEAVOLT technology (patent pending) can withstand harsh offshore conditions while creating large surfaces that are protected from the waves.
"The modular design allows for easy adaptation to different sites and demands. Benefits include local renewable energy production and the possibility to install the panels in offshore wind farms (where local authorities permit multi-use concessions). Another advantage is the addition of large volumes of renewable energy capacity in a relatively short time," the partners said.
The partners are currently developing an offshore test installation which will be launched off the Belgian coast in summer 2023.
"The interest from the PV sector in offshore locations stems from land scarcity, combined with the need for local production and the rapid acceleration of the energy transition. Photovoltaic technology is developing faster than ever: The “magic” 1-TW milestone of installed capacity was reached in 2022, the need for local renewable energy production is increasing drastically, and the complementarity between wind and solar technology has been confirmed all over the world.
As authorities allow for multi-use concessions and the grid infrastructure shows good potential for combined use, the addition of offshore floating solar to current and future offshore wind sites presents an opportunity to add large volumes of additional renewable energy," the companies said.
Philippe Van Troeye, Tractebel CEO: "In the same way that we have seen wind technology moving from land to the sea, we are seeing the extension of the whole energy system towards offshore locations. Along with offshore green fuel production, offshore energy islands, interconnectors, and potential solutions for energy storage, we believe offshore floating PV has an important role to play in the acceleration of the energy transition. While this technology is still in its infancy, we are convinced that with such strong partners on board we are giving SEAVOLT all possible chances to succeed.”