A Belgian partnership has unveiled a new offshore floating solar platform called Seavolt which aims to maximise renewable capacity from offshore windfarms.
The technology is a result of joint research and development, combining the expertise of Jan De Nul, Tractebel and DEME.
“Seavolt is a reliable, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly solution that can be deployed in even the harshest offshore conditions,” said Philippe Hutse, offshore director at Jan De Nul Group.
”As the offshore wind industry continues to grow, we believe that it has the potential to play a crucial role in optimising the use of space on the sea by complementing offshore wind farms.”
Seavolt technology has been desiged to 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 windfarms, 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 project partners, together with Ghent University, started the VLAIO-funded research project MPVAQUA (Marine PV Aquaculture) four years ago.
A marine floater concept was been developed together with initial research on effects on the marine ecosystem, integration of aquaculture and a financial assessment.
Following laboratory testing, the partners are currently developing an offshore test installation which will be launched off the Belgian coast in summer 2023.
Furthermore, in collaboration with RBINS, investigations focusing on the ecosystem, the environment and cost effectiveness are being launched with the support of the Energy Transition Fund and the Federal Relaunch Fund.