The Nautical Sunrise project is set to support the world’s largest offshore floating solar power installation. The EUR 8.4 million project, supported with EUR 6.8 million of the Horizon Europe programme, kicked off in December 2023 to execute research and development on offshore floating solar (OFS) systems and its components.

The outcomes of the project will enable the large-scale deployment and commercialisation of OFS systems in the future, both as standalone systems and integrated into offshore wind farms.

Also read: SolarDuck secures € 15 million in funding for further development

Integrated in OranjeWind wind farm

This project aims to design, build, and showcase a 5-MW offshore floating solar system using the modular solution of Dutch floating solar company SolarDuck. With RWE providing the investment for the installation and deployment, the system is planned to be electrically integrated, certified, and located within RWE’s OranjeWind (Hollandse Kust West VII) wind farm off the west coast of the Netherlands.

Prior to the offshore deployment, 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 the challenges and create opportunities to drive forward the commercialisation of offshore floating solar systems.

Also read: Nevesbu and Iv-Consult optimise SolarDuck’s floating solar platform

Environmental impact

With sustainability in mind, Nautical Sunrise is committed to consider the environmental impact and sustainability of OFS. The project will assess the environmental footprint, circularity, and full life cycle sustainability of offshore floating solar systems. This assessment will not only cover the demonstrator project, but also include multiple GW-scale commercial projects, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of the technology’s ecological implications.

SolarDuck’s CTO Don Hoogendoorn: ‘This subsidy allows SolarDuck with its partners to push the environmental boundary of the design and at the same time get an in-depth understanding of the ecological and reliability of the design.’

‘We are excited to coordinate the Nautical SUNRISE project as one of the flagship initiatives of offshore solar in Europe,’ adds Dutch Marine Energy Centre (DMEC) CTO Simon Stark. ‘Not only do we have the chance to address important knowledge gaps around the design and environmental impact of offshore solar. Together with RWE and the OranjeWind consortium we can do so in full alignment and integration with a commercial offshore wind park.’

Also read: SolarDuck to install floating solar plant in Malaysia

Nautical Sunrise consortium partners

The project is made possible via a collaboration of its partners: project lead DMEC, SolarDuck, RWE, Blunova – a Carlo Maresca Group company, 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.