Dutch company Oceans of Energy has announced plans to construct a solar farm off the coast of Ostend next year that should eventually provide enough electricity for 1,000 households, Belga News Agency reports.
The installation of floating solar panels will cost €15 million and will be partly funded by the European innovation programme Horizon 2020. The project will be developed in partnership with Blue Accelerator – a maritime testing facility just outside Ostend's harbour.
Technical construction began last month and it is hoped that the site will start operating in autumn 2022. The site's location was chosen so that it could benefit from the Blue Accelerator platform that aims to support offshore innovation and boost offshore projects, of which Belgium now has quite a few.
Also from 2022, Blue Accelerator will be used to test a prototype of offshore solar panels developed, in part, by the University of Ghent. This longer-term project could lead to the creation of another commercial solar parc in the years to come.