World first: solar array to be built within an offshore wind farm
02 May 2023
History is set to be made in the North Sea, with a solar array planned for construction within the Hollandse Kust Noord offshore wind farm.
Dutch start-up Oceans of Energy was awarded the install and operate contract for the project, which is being developed by CrossWind, a joint venture between Shell and Eneco.
Oceans of Energy said the combination of an offshore solar park and an offshore wind farm is an effective way to share available ocean space, and the solar panels will be positioned in the area between the offshore wind turbines.
The Hollandse Kust Noord initiative is also pioneering as the first wind farm in the world to incorporate a megawatt-scale combination of battery storage and green hydrogen generation.
Tried and tested technology
Additionally, specialised wake control technologies will be created and tested on the project, aiming to improve the airflow surrounding the wind turbines.
The farm is located 18.5km offshore from Egmond aan Zee and recently saw the installation of its first wind turbine.
Established in 2016, Oceans of Energy claims to be the only company in the world to have a tried and tested offshore solar system, having established a project in the North Sea in 2020, which remains operational.
The company said the system has endured heavy storms, with waves reaching 10m in height and wind forces of more than 100km/hr.
A world-leading project
The offshore solar park within the Hollandse Kust Noord wind farm will be the first to achieve capacity of 1MW of energy, providing a significant boost to renewable energy generation in the Netherlands.
The solar farm is expected to be commissioned in 2025, while the wind farm will be operational by the end of 2023.
Allard van Hoeken, founder and CEO of Oceans of Energy, said, “We are very pleased that CrossWind and their shareholders Shell and Eneco have trust in Oceans of Energy for realising this first off amazing project.
“We will add offshore solar to offshore wind. Our performance and our system will be key for the success of the innovational part of the offshore wind farm. This is a large responsibility as Hollandse Kust Noord will function as an example for combined offshore wind and solar parks in the future.”