Equinor and Moss Maritime are working together as to test the potential of floating offshore solar panels off the island of Frøya in Norway. This project will be an important milestone for both companies.
Moss Maritime’s Vice Prsident of Eningeering, Alexander Thøgersen says,
“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,”
The project is a collaboration between Equinor and technology company Moss Maritime. The plan is to build a floating pilot plant off 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. Planned to measure 80 m x 80 m, the plant will tower less than 3 metres over the sea surface. This pilot test is planned to last for 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. The Norwegian coast and continental shelf are world-class when it comes to oil, gas and wind, but when it comes to sun, other regions offer better conditions. As a test area, Frøya is still very suitable.
“The municipality of Frøya has been a good collaboration partner for us. We have reached an agreement with the grid owner, allowing the electricity that is produced to enter the power grid on Frøya. In addition, the nearness to our research centre in Trondheim, and the expertise possessed by the Sintef and NTNU research institutions, represent an advantage for us,” says Hanne Wigum, head of the Equinor technology unit focusing on wind and solar power.
Frøya mayor Kristin Furunes Strømskag looks forward to the further collaboration.
“It is very exciting that Frøya has been chosen as the host municipality for the testing of new renewable energy sources, such as solar power. With our natural conditions, we are a good location for a full-scale pilot plant within research and development”, she says.
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Image Credit: Moss Maritime