Belgian partners present novel offshore floating solar system


Belgium – The novel offshore floating photovoltaic (PV) system SEAVOLT is presented by Belgian partners DEME, Tractebel, and Jan De Nul. This technique is the result of collaborative research and development that brought together the knowledge of professionals in solar, the environment, and offshore.

The SEAVOLT technology (patent pending) can resist challenging offshore conditions and produce sizable wave-protected surfaces. The modular structure makes it simple to adapt to various settings and demands. Advantages include the ability to deploy the panels in offshore wind farms and the production of local renewable energy. The rapid expansion of renewable energy capability in big quantities is another benefit.

A test installation will be launched off the coast of Belgium.

Four years ago, the partners and Ghent University launched the Blue Cluster-based research project MPVAQUA (Marine PV Aquaculture), which is sponsored by VLAIO. Together with preliminary analysis of effects on the marine habitat, integration of aquaculture, and a financial assessment, a marine floater concept was designed.

The partners are presently working on an offshore test installation that will be launched off the coast of Belgium in the summer of 2023 after laboratory testing. Also, parallel tracks concentrating on the ecosystem, the environment, and cost effectiveness are being launched in conjunction with RBINS with funding from the Federal Relaunch Fund and the Energy Transition Fund.

Wind and solar energy work well together

Due to land constraints, the requirement for local production, and the quickening of the energy transition, the PV sector is interested in areas offshore. The advancement of photovoltaic technology is accelerating: The “magic” 1-TW installed capacity milestone was reached in 2022, local renewable energy production needs are skyrocketing, and wind and solar technology complement each other in every country on earth.

The integration of offshore floating solar to existing and prospective offshore wind facilities gives a possibility to contribute significant amounts of extra renewable energy as long as the authorities permit multi-use concessions and the grid infrastructure displays good potential for joint use.