Belgian dredgers to jointly test offshore floating solar park in Ostend

The Belgian marine engineering companies DEME and Jan De Nul and engineering office Tractebel have jointly developed new floating solar technology capable of operating in harsh marine conditions.

This summer, they will set up a test installation off the Belgian coast for experiments. SEAVOLT, as the project is called, combines the expertise of solar, environmental, and offshore experts.

SEAVOLT technology can withstand harsh offshore conditions while creating large surfaces that are protected from the waves. Its modular design allows for easy adaptation to different sites and demands. Benefits include local renewable energy production and the possibility of installing panels in offshore wind farms.

Wind and solar technology are complementary

Following laboratory testing, the partners are currently developing an offshore test installation, which will be launched off the Belgian coast in the summer of 2023.

The need for local renewable energy production is increasing drastically, and the complementarity between wind and solar technology has been confirmed worldwide. As authorities allow for multi-use concessions, and the grid infrastructure shows good potential for combined use, adding offshore floating solar to current and future offshore wind sites presents an opportunity to add large volumes of additional renewable energy.

‘Acceleration of energy transition’

Tractebel CEO Philippe Van Troeye: “In the same way we have seen wind technology moving from land to the sea, we are seeing the extension of the whole energy system toward offshore locations. […] We believe offshore floating photovoltaic technology has an important role in accelerating the energy transition.”

DEME Group CEO Luc Vandenbulcke: “[…] DEME has decades of knowledge about operating in an offshore environment. We are already the leading contractor in the offshore wind sector. We believe combining solar and wind energy offshore provides fantastic opportunities for the future.”

‘Harshest offshore conditions’

Offshore Director at Jan De Nul Group Philippe Hutse: ” […] SEAVOLT is a reliable, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly solution that can be deployed in even the harshest offshore conditions. We believe it has the potential to play a crucial role in optimizing the use of space on the sea by complementing offshore wind farms.”


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