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The world’s first offshore floating wind-solar pilot just came online in China

China’s government-owned utility State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC) has launched the world’s first commercial offshore floating solar that’s paired with an offshore wind turbine.

SPIC is one of five major electrical utility companies in China, and the world’s largest photovoltaic power generation enterprise. The pilot is located off the coast of Haiyang, a city in Shandong, eastern China.

The project uses Norway-based Ocean Sun‘s patented floating solar power technology.

The two solar floaters (see the photo above) have an installed capacity of 0.5 megawatts peak. They’re connected to a transformer on a SPIC-owned wind turbine and then a subsea cable runs from the wind turbine to the power grid.

If the pilot is successful, the plan is to build a 20 MW floating wind-solar farm in 2023 using Ocean Sun’s technology.

Ocean Sun signed an agreement to license its proprietary floating solar technology for the project in July. This project is fully funded by SPIC, and Ocean Sun’s first “truly offshore installation.”

In July, Børge Bjørneklett, CEO and founder of Ocean Sun, said [translation edited for clarity]:

Shandong Province is projecting 42GW of floating solar installations in the next few years, and Ocean Sun will now be a contender for some of this volume. These waters see challenging annual typhoons, and all involved parties are aware of the risks. Ocean Sun will improve our product with learnings from this exposed site.

A wind-solar hybrid system potentially offers the advantage of improving power output reliability. Solar peaks during the day, and whereas offshore wind turbines typically generate most of their power in the afternoon and evening.

Read more: The US Army just launched the largest floating solar farm in the Southeast – why this is a big deal

Photo: Ocean Sun

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in White River Junction, Vermont. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.