STAVANGER, Norway – Equinor and Moss Maritime plan to build a floating solar pilot plant off the island of Frøya near Trondheim in the late summer of 2021.
It is set to become the world’s first pilot plant for floating solar power in rough waters, according to Equinor.
The company has filed an application with the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate. Planned to measure 80 m x 80 m (230 ft x 230 ft), the plant will tower less than 3 m (10 ft) over the sea surface. According to the plans, the pilot will be tested for a minimum one year.
The purpose of the pilot plant is not primarily to see how much energy it can produce, but how the weather conditions affect the plant, Equinor said.
Alexander Thøgersen, vice president, engineering, at Moss Maritime, said: “We have been working on this concept for the past three years, most recently through our partnership with Equinor, and the concept has been substantially matured, both technically and economically.
“The floating pilot plant will be an important step on the road towards technology commercialization, and an important arena for further development and optimization of the concept.”
This is the third research project that Equinor is involved in. Offshore Sri Lanka a concept in calm waters is being tested to decide how to produce as much energy as possible.
In addition, three different floating solar power concepts are being tested on a lake in the Netherlands.
The company said it has not made any decision on the production of power from floating photovoltaic panels, besides the research projects.