Chinese yard CIMC Raffles has delivered the country’s first semi-submersible photovoltaic power generation platform to CIMC Offshore Solar Technology (Yantai), a joint venture between CIMC Raffles and Yantai government-owned Yantai Hi-tech Construction Investment & Development.

CIMC Offshore Solar Technology president Pan Xilu told Upstream that the unit is a pilot project built to test systems such as the mooring system on a real time basis so that his company can further optimise the technology before mass fabrication.

The floater is equipped with four single floating blocks, with total installed capacity of 400 kilowatt peak and a total deck area of 1900 square metres.

With mooring and fender collision prevention systems, the floater is able to transmit electricity to onshore utilities through a subsea cable, according to CIMC Raffles.

It is designed to operate in sea areas with wave heights of 6.5 metres, wind speed of 34 metres per second and tidal ranges of 4.6 metres.

The yard has booked a sea area covering 600,000 square metres offshore Yantai city in eastern China’s Shandong province just to test its offshore solar and wind projects.

Pan said that it is part of a larger scheme rolled out by the Shandong government to develop offshore wind and solar energy in the same sea area of Bohai Bay and the Yellow Sea so that wind power will start in the evening when solar is off the grid.

The local government has pencilled in offshore wind projects with total capacity of 35 gigawatts while those for offshore solar are targeted at 42 GW by 2025.

Of the total 31 offshore photovoltaic farms under planning at Bohai Bay, 11 with capacity of 5.2 GW will host also offshore wind farms; while in the Yellow Sea, of the 26 offshore solar farms, 17 with capacity of 13.2 GW will also incorporate wind farms.

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