The Port of Rotterdam Authority, the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management and the company Sunfloat are going to conduct a trial for the large-scale use of floating and rotating solar panels in the Slufter, a 250 ha depot for contaminated sediment on the Maasvlakte. For the time being, this involves a year-long trial with 120 floating solar panels. These will go into use in the course of November. The Slufter can accommodate 540,000 solar panels with a total capacity of at least 85 megawatts.
The trial installation consists of 20 floats onto which a total of 120 panels have been mounted. In addition, a further 12 solar panels will be erected on land. By enabling the floats to rotate with the sun, it is possible to generate 18% more energy than panels on a solar meadow. The reflection and the cooling effect of the water will also yield a considerable advantage. The trial installation will be exposed to the elements in the Slufter for a year. A report will then be drawn up.
Most sustainable port
The Port of Rotterdam Authority and the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management are pleased to be cooperating in the trial, considering its importance in terms of quality of life and sustainable energy production. “Using the Slufter for sustainable activities is in keeping with the Port Authority’s aim to become the most sustainable port of its kind. Last year, for example, we also collaborated in a trial to cultivate algae. However, the results of the trial did not lead to a follow-up. That’s all part of innovation,” according to Ronald Paul, COO at the Port of Rotterdam Authority.
Sunfloat is a start-up company that focuses on the development of floating and rotating solar panels. It supplies ready-made floating fields of solar panels. The concept is geared towards industrial waters in the Netherlands.
Ownership of the Slufter is shared between the Port Authority and the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management. The depot opened in 1987, to store contaminated dredged material. As the quality of the water and the sediment in the port has improved considerably, it will be decades before the Slufter is completely full. The depot covers an area of 250 hectares in the port. In order to use the space as efficiently as possible, the two owners have agreed that it should also be made available for sustainable purposes. Located as it is in the extreme west, the Slufter is also one of the sunniest spots in the Netherlands.