Oceans of Energy and The Seaweed Company announce that they have installed offshore solar & seaweed farms at the North Sea Farmers Test Site, 12 kilometers off the shore of Scheveningen. The offshore solar & seaweed farms make use of the same space at sea to both produce solar energy and farm seaweed. By doing this, they set the example for the future use of space between offshore wind turbines off the coast of the Netherlands.

“After a year of successful operation on the North Sea with the first offshore solar system, it is very special that we have now accomplished to generate clean energy as well as produce food at sea, because both are important necessities of life,” says Allard van Hoeken, CEO and Founder of Oceans of Energy. Joost Wouters, CEO and Founder of 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.”

The offshore solar & seaweed farms are part of the European H2020United project, that is meant for stimulating sustainable and multi-use offshore systems within the European Union. The Solar at Sea project is supported by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (in Dutch: Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland, RVO), through the Energy Topsector of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate and European regional development projects (INTERREG) ENCORE & OceanDemo.

The Seaweed Company active in Dutch waters for the first time

Seaweed has lots of valuable applications in food for humans, animals and plants, but can also serve as basis for materials, bioplastics and energy. To facilitate those applications The Seaweed Company has multiple seaweed farms abroad. In the Netherlands, the future of large-scale seaweed production lies at offshore wind parks, this is the first time that seaweed is produced at this scale in the Dutch North Sea. For this offshore production of seaweed, the Cultivator was developed in collaboration with several Dutch partners. This is a seaworthy cultivation system that is expected to produce 15000 kg of seaweed and take up 1.8 tonnes of CO2.

Oceans of Energy’s solar panels now at two sites on the Dutch North Sea

One year ago, the first offshore solar farm in the world was installed successfully by Oceans of Energy on the Dutch North Sea. At the first site, the system has produced clean energy for a year, weathered the sea climate, endured waves up to 4 meters and survived the storms Ciara and Dennis in the winter of 2019.  The system has been designed and built to endure waves of 13 meters at this second site, which is further offshore on the North Sea. The system is ready for the realization of combined offshore solar and wind projects, creating 100 to 5.000 MW of offshore solar energy per project. By using only 5% of the Dutch North Sea, half of the energy demand of the Netherlands can be generated. This can be accomplished by using the space between wind turbines.