Nautical SUNRISE was launched in December 2023 as part of Horizon Europe, which aims to boost science and innovation to increase Europe's competitiveness. The €8.4 million project aims to enable large-scale deployment and commercialisation of offshore floating solar energy systems in the future, both as autonomous systems and integrated into offshore wind farms. Offshore solar power generation is seen as a way to accelerate the energy transition. Within the project, Deltares will look at the impact of wave power on structures and its effects on marine ecosystems.

Within the project, Deltares will look into the opportunities to optimize the design to bear offshore North Sea conditions. In the optimisation you need to balance between a robust design that can cope with heavy offshore conditions and cost savings by aiming for an efficient design. Deltares will implement its largest hydraulic facility the Deltaflume for this research. Next to that, Deltares also investigates the effects of floating solar on marine ecosystems.

Test site

One of the test sites for Nautical SUNRISE will be a five MegaWatt offshore floating solar system based on a modular system by Dutch company SolarDuck. This system is to be electrically integrated, certified and installed in the North Sea, in energy company RWE's OranjeWind wind farm (Hollandse Kust West VII).

Beforehand, the Nautical SUNRISE consortium is conducting extensive research on the reliability, survivability, electrical stability and yield of offshore floating solar systems. A comprehensive scale-up plan lists challenges and opportunities in commercialising offshore floating solar systems.


It also looks at the environmental impact and sustainability of offshore solar. The research consortium assesses the impact on marine ecology for offshore solar as well as in combination with offshore wind. Furthermore, the consoritum will analyze the ecological footprint, circularity and sustainability over the full life cycle of offshore solar. In this way, broad knowledge can be developed on the ecological implications of this form of power generation.


The following parties are collaborating in the project: Dutch Marine Energy Centre (DMEC), SolarDuck, RWE, Blunova – a Carlo Maresca Group company, Bridon-Bekaert The Ropes Group, Deltares, Hasselt University (UHasselt), KU Leuven, Oxford PV, SINTEF Industry, SINTEF Ocean, The Catalonia Institute for Energy Research (IREC-CERCA), INESC TEC, and WavEC Offshore Renewables.

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