Sunday 26 September 2021

Dutch companies start ‘solar & seaweed farm’ at sea

Solar energy start-up Oceans of Energy and sustainable biomass and food producer The Seaweed Company have joined forces to create a ‘solar & seaweed farm’ at sea.

The combined farm, situated some 12 kilometres off the coast at Scheveningen, is a world first, the companies say. The aim is to see if the spaces between turbines in offshore wind farms can be put to a useful purpose.

‘After having experimented with the first offshore solar system on the North Sea I am thrilled to combine the production of food with generating clean energy, two very important needs,’ Ocean Energy CEO Allard van Hoeken said.

As a first step the companies have decided to focus on the distance from the coast where conditions are more challenging. Before exploring the spaces between the turbines, Oceans of Energy wants to see if its solar panels can stand up to strong waves of up to 13 metres.

The Seaweed Company already has several farms in offshore locations in Ireland, Morocco and India and the test location is the Dutch company’s first venture at home. Seaweed is used for food as well as a basis for energy and medicines.

The offshore solar & seaweed farm is part of the European H2020 United project which is aimed at the sustainable multi-use of ocean space in the EU, and receives funding from the Dutch economic affairs and climate ministry’s energy programme.

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