The world’s first offshore floating wind-solar pilot just went live in China


China’s utility State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC) has launched the world’s first commercial offshore floating solar combined with an offshore wind turbine.

SPIC is one of the top five electric utility companies in China and the largest photovoltaic power generation company in the world. The pilot is located off Haiyang, a city in Shandong, eastern China.

The project uses the Norwegian company ocean sunpatented floating solar power technology.

The two solar floats (see photo above) have an installed capacity of 0.5 megawatt peak. They are connected to a transformer on a wind turbine owned by SPIC, then an undersea cable connects the wind turbine to the power grid.

If the pilot is successful, the plan is to build a 20 MW floating wind-solar farm in 2023 using Ocean Sun’s technology.

Ocean Sun signed a licensing agreement for its proprietary floating solar technology for the project in July. This project is fully funded by SPIC and Ocean Sun’s first “a real offshore installation.”

In July, Børge Bjørneklett, CEO and Founder of Ocean Sun, said [translation edited for clarity]:

Shandong province plans 42 GW of floating solar installations over the next few years, and Ocean Sun will now be a competitor for some of that volume. These waters experience harsh annual typhoons and all parties involved are aware of the risks. Ocean Sun will improve our product based on learnings from this exposed site.

A wind-solar hybrid system potentially offers the benefit of improved power output reliability. Solar peaks during the day, and while offshore wind turbines typically generate most of their power afternoon and evening.

Read more: The US military just launched the largest floating solar farm in the Southeast – why it’s a big deal

Photo: Ocean Sun

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