RWE and SolarDuck to cooperate on offshore solar plants

German energy group RWE AG will invest an undisclosed amount in the »Merganser« pilot project of Norwegian-Dutch company SolarDuck next year. Merganser is a 0.5-megawatt offshore solar power plant to be installed off the Belgian North Sea coast at the height of Ostend. The investment is part of a cooperation agreement between RWE and SolarDuck »to develop the use of floating solar parks at sea«.
The pilot project »lays the foundation for a larger demonstration project« as part of the Hollandse Kust West (HKW) offshore wind power tender. If successful in this auction, RWE plans to integrate a solar power plant from SolarDuck with a capacity of five megawatts »combined with innovative energy storage solutions« into the wind farm. Such concepts are an attractive way of making better use ocean space, creating synergies in construction and maintenance, and combining the two types of generation, says a press release. Especially in regions with »lower mean wind speeds but high solar irradiation, this opens up attractive opportunities.«
SolarDuck has developed a triangular platform that sits several meters above sea level, which should provide the necessary storm resistance and reduce exposure of electrical components to salt water. In August 2021, the system became the first offshore PV solution to receive »approval in principle« from French certification company Bureau Veritas.

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