Discover Offshore Solar Energy

Utilising the sun’s power offshore

Photovoltaic goes Offshore

If it’s now possible to deploy floating wind turbines, can we also deploy solar PV systems on the water? You bet! RWE is now exploring the prospects for stand-alone and hybrid offshore solar photovoltaics to offer new ways to deliver cost competitive energy in our journey to Net Zero.

RWE has more than 20 years’ experience in the construction and operation of solar power plants. Offshore solar has the potential to be an exciting evolution of onshore and lake-based technology and opens a new door to gigawatt-scale solar energy generation, particularly for markets who are experiencing the challenge of land scarcity. RWE is well positioned to kick-start early development of offshore solar and has a proven track record in early adoption and commercialisation of new technologies.

Our ambitions

RWE’s ambition is to support the development of innovative technologies to enable and accelerate the energy transition. We will investigate what is needed to be able to safely develop, build and operate cost-competitive commercial-scale projects in strategic markets around the world.

This is likely to involve a similar approach to our floating wind business: firstly developing demonstrator projects then stepping stone projects followed by commercial-scale projects. In this way, we will sustainably build experience, continuously develop the supply chain, unlock economies of scale and reduce risk and costs. RWE will work with the supply chain to understand what is needed to reduce the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) and deliver large-scale offshore projects.

RWE is already taking a key role in the commercialisation of offshore solar technology through active involvement in demonstration projects, and with leading technology partners.

Our ambitions | RWE

How does offshore solar work?

Offshore solar uses similar technology to land-based solar but the modules and inverters are mounted on floating substructures and are secured to the seabed with mooring lines and anchors. The generated electricity is transmitted to shore via subsea cables.

Deploying photovoltaics at sea requires a substructure that can withstand the high waves, strong winds and the stresses caused by salt water. Therefore, the substructure design and material selection differ significantly from lake-based floating photovoltaics systems.

How does offshore solar work | RWE

This technology unlocks new markets for stand-alone offshore solar projects, where offshore wind resource is limited and solar irradiance is high, and hybrid projects in markets that are space constrained and have both good wind and solar resource.

RWE paves the way for the use of offshore solar

A new technology that could play a vital role in the energy transition

Advantages of the technology...

  • Abundant resource and highly scalable

  • Unlocks new markets

  • Provides an answer to increasing shortage of land & has a low visual impact

  • Shorter development timescales than offshore wind

... in combination with offshore wind and offshore solar

  • provides a more balanced energy production profile due to complementary seasonal profiles

  • allows effective utilisation of marine spaces

  • enables better utilisation of electrical infrastructure

  • allows synergies during construction and maintenance

Offshore solar at RWE

Together with our partners, RWE is actively involved in several high-profile offshore floating solar PV demonstration projects which will allow us to gain valuable practical experience that can help us accelerate the commercialization of offshore photovoltaics.


The project aims to showcase the benefits of continuous power output by harnessing complementary power sources including wind, sun and waves.

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Offshore Solar Project Merganser

Merganser is an offshore solar project in development, which is to be installed in the Dutch North Sea in 2024.
Image credits: SolarDuck

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RWE Offshore Wind

RWE Platz 4
45141 Essen