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Nautical SUNRISE Project: Advancing Research and Development for the World's Largest Offshore Floating Solar Power Plant

The ambitious Nautical SUNRISE project is poised to revolutionize renewable energy with its support for the world’s largest Offshore Floating Solar (OFS) power installation. With a budget of €8.4 million, of which €6.8 million is provided by the Horizon Europe programme, this initiative commenced in December 2023, focusing on research and development for offshore floating solar systems and their components. The project aims to facilitate large-scale deployment and commercialization of OFS systems, both independently and as integrated units within offshore wind farms.


The success of the Nautical SUNRISE project is made possible through collaboration with its partners, including the Dutch Marine Energy Centre (DMEC), RWE, SolarDuck, Blunova, Bridon-Bekaert The Ropes Group, Deltares, Hasselt University (UHasselt), KU Leuven, Oxford PV, SINTEF Industry, SINTEF Ocean, The Catalonia Institute for Energy Research (IREC-CERCA), INESC TEC, and WavEC Offshore Renewables.


A pivotal aspect of the project involves designing, constructing, and showcasing a 5 MW offshore floating solar system, utilizing the modular solution offered by Dutch floating solar company, SolarDuck. RWE, a key investor, will oversee the installation and deployment of this system, which is slated to be electrically integrated, certified, and situated within RWE’s OranjeWind (Hollandse Kust West VII) wind farm, located off the coast of The Netherlands.


Before the offshore deployment phase, the Nautical SUNRISE consortium will conduct extensive research and testing to ensure the reliability, survivability, electrical stability, and yield of offshore floating solar systems. A comprehensive scale-up plan will address challenges and identify opportunities to drive the commercialization of offshore floating solar systems forward.


With a strong commitment to sustainability, Nautical SUNRISE will assess the environmental impact and sustainability of OFS, evaluating factors such as environmental footprint, circularity, and full lifecycle sustainability. This assessment will encompass not only the demonstrator project but also multiple GW-scale commercial projects, ensuring a holistic understanding of the technology’s ecological implications.


The Nautical SUNRISE consortium aims to lead the way in ushering in a new era of offshore renewable energy, contributing to a more sustainable future for generations to come.


Commenting on the project, SolarDuck’s CTO, Don Hoogendoorn, expressed gratitude for the subsidy, emphasizing its role in pushing the environmental boundaries of the design and enhancing understanding of its ecological and reliability aspects. Similarly, DMEC CTO Simon Stark highlighted the project’s significance in addressing knowledge gaps and environmental impacts of offshore solar, underscoring the alignment with commercial offshore wind parks.




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