Renewables

Giant floating hybrid power project planned offshore southern Italy

Giant floating hybrid power project planned offshore southern Italy

Photo: SolarDuck

Published

March 5, 2024

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Published:

March 5, 2024

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A group of companies have set off on an ambitious endeavor – they are preparing to install a floating hybrid power plant in the Gulf of Taranto consisting of wind turbines of an overall 540 MW and 120 MW of photovoltaics. The partners chose a location offshore Italy’s Calabria region.

Italy hosts the first and only offshore wind power plant in the Mediterranean, but a range of huge wind and solar power projects are also envisaged on its seas. Toto Holding’s 30 MW Beleolico facility, with 10 fixed-bottom wind turbines, was commissioned two years ago in the Gulf of Taranto.

Offshore floating photovoltaics developer SolarDuck joined forces with Italy-based floating wind peer New Developments and asset manager Green Arrow Capital in combining the two technologies right across the way. The pioneering hybrid power plant would be located offshore the Calabrian coastal commune of Corigliano-Rossano.

Solar panels on elevated platforms

The project in the Ionian Sea’s largest gulf is set to use SolarDuck’s elevated platform technology that enables PV panels to operate in areas with significant wave heights. The Dutch-Norwegian startup claims its approach minimizes the environmental impact.

The PV segment within the Corigliano facility is expected to generate more than 160 GWh per year

Corigliano is planned to comprise a floating solar power unit of 120 MW in peak capacity and a 420 MW floating wind system of 28 machines. The project’s estimated commercial operation date or COD is 2028. The solar segment is expected to generate more than 160 GWh per year, the announcement reads.

“These cutting-edge infrastructures not only generate green energy contributing to sustainable energy transition and independence but also demonstrate their complementarity to onshore installations, preserving precious land resources,” Green Arrow’s Founder and Chief Investment Officer Daniele Camponeschi said.

floating hybrid power project planned offshore southern Italy

Floating offshore solar, wind power plants emerging

Under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, Italian authorities are simplifying authorization procedures for offshore renewable electricity plants. The three firms said they are awaiting the adoption of the FER2 decree, which would cover floating PV, popularly known as floatovoltaics.

Together with Germany-based RWE, SolarDuck is developing a 5 MW floatovoltaic project in the North Sea off the Dutch coast. The European Union covered EUR 6.8 million of the EUR 8.4 million investment from its Horizon Europe scheme. It would become the biggest offshore floating solar facility anywhere and be integrated with the OranjeWind offshore wind farm, at the Hollandse Kust West 7 site.

The firm is about to build an offshore floatovoltaic unit near Tokyo, Japan’s first.

The world’s largest floating offshore wind farm has just 50 MW in capacity.

In 2022, China’s SPIC commissioned the first ever commercial floating solar power plant on the sea, using Ocean Sun’s technology. At the same time, it integrated it with an offshore wind turbine, creating the first such hybrid power plant.

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