Illustration/Offshore floating solar with offshore wind (Courtesy of SolarDuck)

Work Starts on World’s Largest Floating Solar Project, Part of RWE’s OranjeWind

The Nautical SUNRISE consortium partners have commenced the project whose goal is to facilitate research and development of offshore floating solar systems and its components. The project aims to integrate a 5 MW offshore floating solar system within RWE’s OranjeWind, a wind farm to be built 53 kilometres off the Dutch coast.

Research and development on the offshore floating solar (OFS) systems and its components of the EUR 8.4 million project, supported by EUR 6.8 million of the Horizon Europe programme, kicked off in December 2023.

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

The project aims to design, build, and showcase a 5 MW OFS system using the modular solution of the Dutch floating 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 800 MW OranjeWind offshore wind farm in the Netherlands.

The Nautical SUNRISE 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, according to the Dutch Marine Energy Centre (DMEC), which is one of the consortium partners.

Other Nautical SUNRISE consortium partners include 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.


In November 2022, RWE won the right to build and operate a subsidy-free offshore wind farm in the Hollandse Kust West (HKW) VII site.

The OranjeWind offshore wind farm will have an installed capacity of almost 800 MW and is expected to start producing renewable electricity in 2027.

The project will incorporate floating solar panels, a subsea lithium-ion battery, and a LiDAR system to predict power production more accurately, according to RWE.


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