German utility RWE will invest in a floating solar pilot project in the North Sea off Belgium as part of a move into the technology that could include pairing it with offshore wind.

The Belgian pilot array called ‘Merganser’ to be built in 2023 off the coastal city of Ostend is seen as a first step towards a larger 5MW demonstration project within part of the planned Hollandse Kust West (HKW VII) offshore wind farm in the Netherlands, for which RWE has put in a bid that contains a system integration component.