New consortium builds first offshore floating solar energy farm in the world Project ‘Solar-at-Sea’ starts

Leiden, The Netherlands, 6th of February 2018 –Six companies and research institutes have started the design, construction and operation of the world’s first offshore floating solar farm. With financial support from the Dutch Enterprise Agency (RVO), the consortium builds a floating solar energy power plant that can provide clean energy to locations where space on land is scarce.

The consortium is formed by ECN, TNO, MARIN, TAQA, and Oceans of Energy for a 3-year collaboration. Utrecht University will in addition perform scientific research together with Oceans of Energy to compare the electricity production of floating solar at sea in comparison to land – the power yield of photovoltaic solar modules is expected to be about 15% higher compared to on land. “What we will do in this project has not been done before and is exceptional. Solar farms are already being deployed at inshore water bodies such as lakes, but a project at sea has never been done before as this is much more challenging. The destructive wind- and wave forces at sea cause others to withhold. With the competences of the project partners and building further on the expertise of the Dutch offshore industry, we are convinced that we will be successful” says Allard van Hoeken, founder and CEO of leading party Oceans of Energy. Van Hoeken was previously responsible for the realization of tidal energy unit BlueTEC, which powered the Dutch island Texel with clean energy, for which he was awarded with the title ‘Engineer of the Year 2015’ and the “Prins Friso Ingenieursprijs”.

Floating solarfarms for island and remote regions

Large scale offshore floating solar energy systems do not yet exist. Solar at sea is a unique source of renewable energy, as it does not use scarce land space. Ideally for islands and other remote regions. On the long run, by using the space available in-between wind turbines, the energy output of offshore windparks per square kilometer can be multiplied several times. This is of great significance for the Netherlands.

Wijnand van Hooff, Program Director ‘Solar Energy TKI Urban Energy’ states: “The potential of solar energy is enormous. In the National Solar Trendreport 2018 it is estimated that solar energy can contribute to 75% of the Dutch energy supply. There is tremendous potential for floating solar farms to contribute significantly to this goa, but the challenges are significant as well. By combining the Dutch expertise on solar energy technology and the Dutch offshore competences, a whole new solar application can be developed. Projects of this kind are of great importance to eventually capture the commercial- and energetic potential of solar energy applications”.

Solar at sea: a good fit with the Dutch maritime background, new hope for unlimited amounts of clean energy for the world

Allard van Hoeken concludes: “Offshore floating solar is a product that fits well with the Dutch offshore competences and expertise. This will be a solution for the entire world, as the majority of the earth’s population is concentrated in coastal regions. By starting now to bring solar at sea to reality, we expect to create a positive and lasting impact worldwide.”

For more information, please contact:

Ariane van Hoeken

+31 6 48 65 09 37


Oceans of Energy The startup Oceans of Energy specializes in offshore renewable energy. The company is located in Leiden, The Netherlands, and develops floating systems for renewable power generation at sea. Next to the development of offshore products, Oceans of Energy supports other institutions with anchoring technology and environmental impact studies. The focus on these research components differentiate Oceans of Energy from other startup practices.

ECN is the largest research institution on energy-related topics of the Netherlands. ECN develops new technologies and realizes in various ways breakthrough research on innovative solutions to foster the transition towards renewable energy. We are active with a team of roughly 500 members in both national and international projects, collaborating with industry, governments, and research institutes. We are located in the Netherlands at sites in Petten, Amsterdam, and Eindhoven.

For further information on the contribution of ECN to the Solar-at-Sea project, please contact Polleke Peeters, Senior Communication Advisor, or +31 6 30009340.

MARIN (Maritime Research Institute of the Netherlands) carries out as an independent knowledge institution research for the maritime sector and the Dutch government. We support innovative solutions from design to operation and thereby bridge the gap between academic research and market applications. With the goal of developing cleaner, safer, and smarter ships and maritime constructions. We do this together with a broad innovation- and research network of clients and partners, and by using the most modern calculation- and test facilities, measurement technology, and simulators.

For further information on the contribution of MARIN to the Solar-at-Sea project, please contact William Otto, Projectmanager Solar-at-Sea, of +31 0317 493 422.

TNO The 3.000 professionals of TNO use their knowledge and expertise to realize smart solutions for complex issues. These innovations contribute to longlasting competitive advantages of businesses and the wellbeing of society. Our partners include more than 3000 businesses and organizations from both inside- and outside the Netherlands. Want to know more about TNO and the five societal focus themes? Have a look at

For further information on the contribution of TNO to the Solar-at-Sea project, please contact Maarten Lörtzers, T +31 (0)88 866 08 88, M +31 (0)62 042 07 32, E

TAQA is a company from the energy sector that has worldwide activities and is listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX). The main office is located in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. TAQA has business units in the United Arab Emirates, Great-Britain, the Netherlands, Canada, The Unites States of America, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Ghana, India, Iraq, and Oman.  TAQA Energy B.V. is a sister company of TAQA, and is located in Alkmaar. Since it’s start in 2007, is TAQA Energy focused on strategic infrastructural energy projects and the production- and treatment of oil and gas, both onshore as offshore. TAQA’s natural gas portfolio includes next to ‘Gasopslag Bergermeer’ also the Peak Gas installation in the region of Alkmaar and more.

For further information on the contribution of TAQA to the Solar-at-Sea project, please contact Eric Smilde T: +31 6 28 52 87 20 E:

Oranje Nassau Energie supports this project with advice based on their experience as operator on the North Sea. The Dutch Enterprise Agency (Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland; stimulates Dutch enterprises with doing sustainable, agragrian, innovative, and international business. With subsidies, connecting of business partners, knowledge, and the juridical and regulatory advice. executes assignments of multiple Ministries, including the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate.

For more information on subsidies related to energy-innovation:

TKI Urban Energy – Department of Topsector Energie supports the development of energy innovations that allow a more rapid transition towards renewable, reliable, and economical energy systems in the urban environment. This is done, in cooperation with the industry-sector, by developing a knowledge and innovation agenda, supporting new innovation projects, and by sharing relevant knowledge on the focus themes of the knowledge and innovation agenda. This results in a faster energy transition and the strengthening of the competitive environment for involved businesses and knowledge institutions. For more information, please contact:

Sustainability Utrecht University By bundling expertise in the field of sustainability, Utrecht University is developing integrated solutions for sustainability themes and is contributing to a better future for generations to come. This theme connects the excellent research competences on sustainability with the alpha, beta, and gamma sciences. With the ocus on water, energy, and a livable urban environment. Sustainability is one of the for strategic research themes of Utrecht University. For more information, please contact: