Equinor floating solar power plant

We're helping client Equinor deliver this revolutionary project with our engineering and technical expertise. It's a world first in challenging offshore conditions.
Offshore solar panels in rough waters
As a part of the accelerating deployment of renewable energy, Equinor, a Norwegian energy company, together with its partner Moss Maritime have developed an offshore floating solar power plant for the Norwegian Sea, east of Frøya municipality in Trondheim, Norway.
The innovative project will be the first pilot of a floating solar power plant in rough waters. The pilot plant will have a size of 80 square metres, raised three metres above the sea surface.
One of the advantages of floating solar is that it doesn’t have a land footprint, making it attractive to island communities and densely populated areas with limited access to land area, according to Equinor. Floating solar may also be more efficient than land-based solar PV, according to researchers from the Institute for Energy Technology in Norway.
Drawing on experts in Norway, Denmark and Germany, Ramboll provides engineering and technical expertise to the project, in both the concept phase and detailed design phase. This includes engineering expertise in electrical systems, high voltage electrical, solar PV panels, dynamic analyses and cables.
After completion of the detailed engineering in April 2022, Ramboll was awarded a contract to provide follow-on engineering and procurement support during the mechanical completion and the commissioning phase. The sail away and installation period offshore started in Q3 2022.
Weatherproof design
The facility will be tested for one year in some of the most challenging weather conditions along the Norwegian coast. The purpose of the pilot will not be to measure how much energy can be produced, but rather how weather conditions affect the plant. The knowledge gained during the pilot will help further develop and optimise the concept towards technological commercialisation.
As the first floating solar power plant in rough waters in the world, it will be a revolutionary test, and with its innovative design it will open new possibilities for more sustainable energy even in places with challenging weather conditions.
The strong winds, high waves, snow and ice in the sea at Frøya makes it a very challenging location to launch a floating solar power plant. All technical solutions have been designed, selected and constructed to withstand these tough conditions. The steel frames underneath are supported by large pontoons on each section to prevent the plant from sinking. Also, the solar platform has a tension system fixed at the sea bottom to keep the solar floater in position.
Equinor is a Norwegian state-owned energy company with the ambition to reach net zero by 2050. With the green transition and Ramboll’s own strategy to specialise in sustainability and the green energy transition, the pilot test for the solar plant will be a great joint effort.

“If we succeed here, we can succeed anywhere”

Hanne Wigum
Head of Equinor technology unit

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  • Dag A. Nilsen

    Director Business Development, Energy Field Development

    +47 48 89 32 27