The world’s first commercial offshore floating solar that has been combined with an offshore wind turbine is now online in China. The project has been initiated by State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC), a utility that is owned by the Government of China. SPIC is among the five major utility firms in China and it is also the largest PV power generation firm.
The said pilot project lies off the coast of Haiyang in eastern China and employs the patented floating solar technology from Norway-based floating solar solutions provider, Ocean Sun.
The floating project boasts of an installed capacity of 0.5 megawatts peak. It is linked to a transformer on a SPIC-owned wind turbine. Further, there is a subsea cable running from the wind turbine to the power grid.
Oncethe pilot is successful, there are plans in the offing to establish a floating wind-solar farm next year with the patented technology and 20 MW capacity.
In July 2022, Børge Bjørneklett, CEO and Founder of Ocean Sun, said (translated): Shandong Province estimates a capacity of 42 GW of floating solar installations over the span of the next few years. Ocean Sun will contend for a part of this capacity. The said waters are prone to yearly typhoons, and all the stakeholders know about the risks involved. The exposed site will allow our firm to make improvements on our product through learnings made from it.
A hybrid between wind and solar is a viable option since it promises increased power output. India is no stranger to such hybrid projects and is fast recognizing and capitalizing on its benefits. In October 2022, leading energy firm Adani Green set up the world’s largest wind-solar hybrid project in Rajasthan, India. While it boasts of 600 MW solar, the wind capacity of the project stands at 150 MW.