The Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE), a consortium of Swedish, Spanish and Portuguese entities, have secured funding from the European Union’s European Maritime and Fishery Fund (EMFF) to develop the technology for mooring and anchoring systems for floating solar.

The primary objective of the FRESHER project is to display and authorise new innovative anchoring technology for floating solar power plants.

The technology is aimed at improving LCoE (Levelized Costs of Energy) and increasing solar power capacity.

The project will commence in November 2019 and will be completed in two years.

RISE research and innovation director John Rune Nielsen said: “We are happy to be part of the value chain in such an innovative and emerging market, providing competences to the industry and supporting SME.”

The FRESHER project is headed by Seaflex, a Swedish company that claims to offer flexible and environmentally friendly anchoring and mooring solutions.

EDP is one of the partners in FRESHER project

The FRESHER project’s partners also include Portugal utility EDP, which already has a floating solar cell park in northern Portugal.

EDP CNET director João Maciel said: “Portugal has the ambition to be carbon neutral by 2050 and to have 80% of the energy supplied by renewable sources (RES), a commitment that EDP shared from the first day. Hybridizing alternative sources of energy with our hydro fleet is one of the fastest ways to help accomplish this target.

“Floating photovoltaic, only in Portugal, has a potential of more than 2 GW. However, the harsh environment in our dams and competition with other conventional RES technologies requires an optimization of the mooring designs and a reduction of costs.

“Our ambition goes in three ways: improve the existing solutions, bring competitive proposals and contribute for the design in harsher environments, as the offshore sea water applications.”

The objective of the FRESHER project is to demonstrate that floating solar energy is ready to advance and grow in market share.

PV anchoring suitable for the marine environment is one of the new technologies in the project that could open up new markets.