SolarDuck and investors © Frank Brandwijk
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Dutch renewable energy startup SolarDuck’s offshore solar plant, Merganser, has come close to completion. Installation at the floating solar plant located in the North Sea is ready to begin shortly. This pioneering technology involves six triangular platforms with a combined capacity of 520 kWp.

This project stands as a collaborative effort involving numerous partners. SolarDuck has worked alongside RWE, TNO, Deltares, Delft University of Technology, MARIN, Norsk Hydro, and DMEC to bring the Merganser project to fruition. The project aims to generate clean energy and will also serve as an operational laboratory, collecting data on platform motions, energy output, and marine ecosystem impacts. The first two platforms of the Merganser project were launched in Amsterdam in February 2024, with floaters manufactured in Poland.

SolarDuck’s ambitious vision

SolarDuck’s CEO, Koen Burgers, outlined the company’s vision to reduce CO2 emissions by 1 million tons by 2030 through their marine solar energy systems. This vision is rapidly turning into reality as the company discusses the deployment of a 1-gigawatt peak of solar panels within this decade. In just a few years, SolarDuck has grown from a small team of six to an international team of 46, showcasing its rapid expansion and the scaling of its proprietary technology. In April 2024, SolarDuck became the first to receive a full prototype certification for their offshore solar system from the Bureau Veritas Group, a milestone that underscores their innovative lead in the industry.

The path ahead for marine solar

The Merganser project is a local endeavor and part of a global movement towards utilizing oceans for solar energy production. With platforms capable of withstanding waves up to ten meters high, SolarDuck’s technology represents a robust solution that could pave the way for the widespread adoption of offshore solar farms. This development comes at a time when the industry is seeing increased interest in marine spaces for renewable energy infrastructure, driven by the availability of space and the potential for efficient power generation. SolarDuck’s efforts are a significant step towards realizing this potential, with their Merganser plant soon to be tested against one of the most tumultuous seas in the world, off the coast of Scheveningen.