rss icon Subscribe
desktop mobile

Dutch Plan to Build Giant Offshore Solar Power Farm

© Rawf8 / Adobe Stock

Posted by Michelle Howard

An offshore seaweed farm in the North Sea will be turned into a large solar power farm that aims to pipe energy to the Dutch mainland in roughly three years.
The project comes at a critical time for the Netherlands, which is struggling to curb fossil fuel use and meet greenhouse gas emission targets after years of underinvestment in renewable energy sources.

After an initial pilot next year, a consortium comprising energy producers, scientists and researchers plans to ultimately operate 2,500 square metres of floating solar panels by 2021, said Allard van Hoeken, founder of Oceans of Energy, which devised the project.

The pilot, which will have 1.2 million euros ($1.48 million) in government funding, will operate 30 square meters of panels from this summer. It will test equipment, weather conditions, environmental impact and energy output.

Utrecht University will examine energy production at the offshore prototype, located around 15 kilometres (nine miles) off the coast of Dutch city of The Hague at a testing zone known as the North Sea Farm.

"In addition to removing the problem of a land shortage, there are several other benefits to building at sea, similar to those in wind energy," said solar energy expert Wilfried van Sark at Utrecht University, who is involved in the project.

"There is more sun at sea and there is the added benefit of a cooling system for the panels, which boosts output by up to 15 percent," he said.

If successful, there is plenty of space to expand the farm, unlike on the overcrowded Dutch mainland where there has been public opposition to wind turbines.

The panels will be more rugged than ordinary onshore models to account for the harsher weather conditions and tidal shifts at sea, Van Sark said.

The panels will be moored between existing wind turbines and connected to the same cables, transporting energy efficiently to end users.

Van Hoeken said he expects offshore solar energy to eventually be cheaper than offshore wind and mainland power sources, due mainly to a lack of land costs.
By Anthony Deutsch

Feb 14, 2018

 

Environmental

Florida Current is the Weakest Its Been in a Century

A new study uses a method of tracking the strength of near-shore ocean currents from a distance via measurements of coastal sea level. (Photo by Carol Anne Clayson, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

The Florida Current, which forms the start of the Gulf Stream, has slowed over the past century

NOAA Raises Predicted Number of Tropical Storms to Record High

© diy13 / Adobe Stock

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Thursday predicted up to 16

Shipping's Share of Global Carbon Emissions Increases

© nmann77 / Adobe Stock

Carbon emissions from shipping rose in the six-year period to 2018 and accounted for 2.

Government Update

Bay Shipbuilding Gearing Up to Support Navy Builds

(Photo: Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding)

Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding (FBS) says it will upgrade its shipyard equipment and facilities this

Pentagon Chief Concerned About Beijing's Activity in South China Sea

Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper (DoD photo by Marvin Lynchard)

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper expressed concerns about Beijing’s “destabilizing” activity near

Container Losses in the Rolling Seas

The APL England lost at least 50 containers in heavy seas off the coast of Australia in May 2020. (Photo: Australian Maritime Safety Authority)

Cargoes have come off ships at sea it seems like forever. Some years ago a ship suffered a

Maritime Apps