As part of the energy transition, Italy wants to build a gigantic hybrid platform that combines wind power and solar energy. The special remember: the system should float on the sea.

In times of climate change, sustainable energy plays a central role. The proportion of green electricity in the German energy mix has therefore been increasing for years. Something similar can also be observed internationally. One example is Italy, which will also rely heavily on energy from the sun and wind in the coming years.

To this end, the country plans to develop a hybrid platform consisting of floating solar systems and offshore wind turbines. The platform promises an output of up to 540 megawatts (MW) and will in future float off the southern coast in the Ionian Sea.

Since the project partners are implementing the facility in the Gulf of Taranto off the Calabrian coast of Corigliano-Rossano, it is called the Corigliano Project.

Italy generates wind power and solar energy on huge platforms

This is a joint development between the Dutch-Norwegian offshore solar company SolarDuck, the Italian investment fund Arrow Capital and the Italian developer New Developments. SolarDuck, a spin-off from Dutch shipyard Damen Shipyards, uses its expertise to design elevated solar platforms made of offshore-grade aluminum.

These stand three meters above the water and can withstand even harsh conditions. The height is also said to help reduce salt buildup on the solar panels. Because this is a common problem with floating solar farms that are located directly on the water.

The triangular floating platforms are modular and can be connected to form large systems. They also feature non-slip walkways and fences to facilitate access and maintenance.

Potential for the North Sea and Japan's coast

The hybrid plant is expected to generate 420 megawatts from offshore wind and 120 megawatts from floating solar and include approximately 28 floating wind turbines. The project partners would like to put the Corigliano project into operation in 2028. But SolarDuck is currently testing this type of energy generation not only in Italy.

At the same time, the company is carrying out a pilot project of up to three years with an output of 5 megawatts in the North Sea. To do this, SolarDuck teamed up with the energy company RWE. The facility is located twelve kilometers off the coast of The Hague. Further systems are also planned. SolarDuck recently received new financial injections for this purpose.

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