Energy transition

Solar at De Slufter: looking for future operator of the Netherlands’ largest floating solar farm

03 May 2019
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The Central Government Real Estate Agency (RVB), Rijkswaterstaat (RWS) and the Port of Rotterdam Authority plan to realise a new floating solar farm in Rotterdam’s western port area. They are looking for a suitable party to operate the new facility –the largest of its kind ever realised in the Netherlands. To this end, the partners will be organising a market consultation on 8 May. This consultation will be followed by an ITT.

Trial with solar panels on the Slufter

The intended site for the new floating solar farm is at De Slufter, a large 250-ha depot for contaminated dredging spoil at Maasvlakte. De Slufter’s situation to the very west of the port area makes it one of the sunniest sites in the Netherlands. An ideal location, in other words, for generating solar power. It is estimated that some 100 ha of surface water can be made available for the construction of a floating solar farm. The potential capacity of the new farm is circa 100 MWp – roughly equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of 33,000 households. This would make ‘Sun on De Slufter’ the Netherlands’ largest floating solar farm by far.

Energy transition

The floating solar farm is in line with the Port Authority’s strategy to intensively promote the energy transition in the port and encourage the use of solar panels and wind turbines. The ‘Sun on De Slufter’ project is part of ‘Renewable energy on national and Rijkswaterstaat sites’, a joint pilot programme undertaken by RWS, RVB and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RON). The objective of this programme is to learn how national sites can be optimally utilised for the generation of power from renewable sources.

A previous trial with floating solar panels at De Slufter has already been rounded off. This trial yielded a number of insights, including the finding that the swell generated by heavy weather can damage the floating support structure. This will be an important point of attention during the realisation of the new solar farm.

Construction on the floating solar park is expected to start in the period 2022/2023.