Dutch pilot hits the water: solar and seaweed together at sea for the first time
The Dutch pilot moved into deployment mode in October and November last year, installing offshore solar and seaweed farms in the North Sea. Despite COVID-19 complications and recent rough seas, the project partners forged ahead with set-up at the North Sea Farmers/ North Sea Innovation Lab site, 12km offshore from Scheveningen.The group installed 61,000 kg of steel anchors to lay the basis for the unique floating solar plant and seaweed cultivation site, followed by 11-metre-long, 2.5-tonne buoys, and finally, the seaweed nets and floating solar units.
“It is very special that we have now accomplished the generation of clean energy as well as production of food at sea, because both are important necessities of life,” says Allard van Hoeken, CEO and Founder of project partner Oceans of Energy.
Joost Wouters, CEO and Founder of project partner The Seaweed Company continues: “It makes me proud that this project shows that we can use the space between wind turbines at sea to its full extent for the cultivation of valuable seaweed.”
Both operations will now enter the monitoring phase, and, with all going well, the first seaweed harvest will take place in May this year.
Figure 1: Allard van Hoeken (left) & Joost Wouters (right)
Figure 2: Unloading one of the 2.5 tonne buoys
Figure 3 : UNITED ready for the North Sea
Figure 4 : Interconnecting lines in the North Sea
Figure 5 : Seaweed Cultivator At Work