The US$53.3m (€45m) European SCalable Offshore Renewable Energy Sources (EU-SCORES) marine energy project says it is aiming to develop an array of bankable hybrid offshore parks that harness the natural power of the sun, wind and waves to create electricity.
A series of demonstrations led by the Dutch Marine Energy Center (DMEC) will begin this month, starting with a 3MW offshore solar PV system with a bottom-fixed wind farm off the Belgian coast, produced by Oceans of Energy, and a 1.2MW wave energy array with a floating wind farm in Portugal, created by CorPower.
“For a successful energy transition, we have to move fast without jeopardizing the reliability of our electricity grid,” commented Benjamin Lehner, project portfolio manager at DMEC. “EU-SCORES can be a game-changer doing so. The multi-use of offshore space presents a favorable business case with major potential to accelerate the transition, while the hybrid approach will enable more reliable electricity provision.”
Through the demonstrations, partners of the project hope to showcase the benefits that wind-, sun- and wave-powered offshore parks can offer, including higher capacity, continuous power output and lower total cost of MWh.
Furthermore, the project seeks to prove how the increased power output and capacity installed per km2 will reduce the size of the area needed in the ocean. As a result, there will be less impact on sea life, fisheries, shipping routes and environmentally protected zones.
To further reduce the cost per MWh, partners are seeking to implement critical electrical infrastructures alongside using different maintenance methodologies supported by autonomous systems. To meet the EU’s target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, it has set strict targets to reach a 230-440GW output and a 40GW output from offshore and ocean energy alone by 2050.
Matthijs Soede, senior policy officer at European Commission DG Research, added, “We have very high expectations of the EU-SCORES project, which perfectly fits with our aim to realize the Green Deal. They show great ambition by demonstrating different energy sources considering efficient use of the seas, and their success will support the clean energy transition.”