SEAVOLT© Offshore Floating PV Technology: A Game-Changer for Local Renewable Energy Production

SEAVOLT© Offshore Floating Photovoltaic Technology A Game-Changer for Local Renewable Energy Production Jan De Nul, Tractebel, and DEME, along with Ghent University,

by | Mar 10, 2023

Offshore renewable energy. Offshore wind and PV technology. White boat. SEAVOLT©

(Credit: Jan De Nul)

Jan De Nul, Tractebel, and DEME, along with Ghent University, have announced the development of a new offshore floating photovoltaic (PV) technology, called SEAVOLT©. The technology, which is currently pending patent, is the result of joint research and development by solar, environmental, and offshore experts.

SEAVOLT© technology has been designed to withstand harsh offshore conditions while creating large surfaces that are protected from waves. Its modular design allows for easy adaptation to different sites and demands. This technology offers several benefits, including local renewable energy production and the possibility of installing the panels in offshore wind farms, where local authorities permit multi-use concessions.

Moreover, SEAVOLT© technology enables the addition of large volumes of renewable energy capacity in a relatively short time. The partners, in collaboration with RBINS, have launched parallel tracks focusing on the ecosystem, environment, and cost-effectiveness with the support of the Energy Transition Fund and the Federal Relaunch Fund.

The partners started the VLAIO-funded research project MPVAQUA (Marine PV Aquaculture) within the frame of Blue Cluster four years ago. The marine floater concept was developed together with initial research on the effects on the marine ecosystem, integration of aquaculture, and a financial assessment. After laboratory testing, the partners are currently developing an offshore test installation that will be launched off the Belgian coast in the summer of 2023.

Philippe Hutse, Offshore Director at Jan De Nul Group: “We are thrilled to launch the SEAVOLT© technology, which represents the culmination of years of hard work and innovation in offshore PV technology together with our partners. SEAVOLT is a reliable, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly solution that can be deployed in even the harshest offshore conditions. As the offshore wind industry continues to grow, we believe that it has the potential to play a crucial role in optimizing the use of space on the sea by complementing offshore wind farms. We are excited to see how SEAVOLT will shape the future of renewable energy and contribute to a more sustainable future.”

The interest in offshore locations from the PV sector stems from land scarcity, combined with the need for local production and rapid acceleration of the energy transition. Photovoltaic technology is developing faster than ever: the “magic” 1-TW milestone of installed capacity was reached in 2022, and the need for local renewable energy production is increasing drastically. Additionally, the complementarity between wind and solar technology has been confirmed all over the world. As authorities allow for multi-use concessions, and the grid infrastructure shows good potential for combined use, the addition of offshore floating solar to current and future offshore wind sites presents an opportunity to add large volumes of additional renewable energy.

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