TECNALIA promotes floating photovoltaic plants in the marine environment

7 November 2023
Fotovoltaica flotante en entorno marino

“TECNALIA develops new, sustainable and economically profitable floating photovoltaic concepts that enable the leap from current technology to the marine environment”

Renewable energies such as photovoltaic solar, and in particular floating PV solar in the marine environment, play a key role in the European Green Pact and the climate neutrality goals for 2050

TECNALIA is researching new concepts for sustainable and economically profitable floating photovoltaic (FPV) structures that enable the leap from current technology in inland waters to coastal and open-sea spaces. The developments will comply with the maxim of “no negative impact” on marine and coastal ecosystems.

It will also play a major role in the development of new materials for flotation systems in FPV plants. The research and technological development centre will also study the effects of environmental conditions such as waves, salinity and fouling on the PV system (PV modules, algorithmic conversion elements and operation and maintenance strategies) and on the flotation structures, resulting from biofouling.

Nearly 70% of the earth’s surface is covered by seas and oceans; this is why there is a great interest in taking photovoltaic plants to the marine environment. The deployment of large photovoltaic plants requires the use of large surfaces.

However, the leap from photovoltaics (PV) to the marine environment is a major challenge. First, the impact that offshore conditions may have on PV technologies and current floating solutions such as structures, flotation and mooring systems is unknown. Second, new specific solutions will need to be developed and there will have to be a significant change in the approach to the development of these farms.

New sustainable concepts for floating photovoltaic plants in the marine environment

The EKIOCEAN initiative studies new sustainable concepts of floating photovoltaic plants for the marine environment, addressing their entire value chain. It also aims to generate knowledge that will boost the development of the sector and turn into in business opportunities for Basque industry.

The consortium, led by TECNALIA, includes the participation of Azti, the UPV/EHU Department of Energy Engineering, UPV/EHU Polymat, BCAM and the Energy Cluster.

You may also be interested in “photovoltaic modules in an offshore environment”

The EKIOCEAN project is funded by the Department for Economic Development, Sustainability and Environment of the Basque Government (ELKARTEK Programme).