The United Arab Emirates has just contracted with a Swiss firm, CSEM to purchase a floating solar island.
The island, which will basically float an a ring-shaped raft, was conceptualized a while ago by CSEM, but until now they haven’t found any buyers. The prototype being commissioned by the UAE will first be tested in a nearby desert before the concept is moved onto the ocean.
It’s one tenth the size of the concept pictured below, only costing $5M and about 100 meters wide with a peak power generation of roughly 1 megawatt. The plant will produce energy by concentrating solar power onto pipes containing water. The water will boil, and be used to spin turbines. Once shipped off-shore, the islands could be used to convert seawater to hydrogen, allowing them to be autonomous and untethered to the shore. The hydrogen could then be picked up by barges, instead of having to transport the electricity to shore via a physical connection.