Norway-based floating PV developer Ocean Sun is seeking a listing on the Merkur Market, a multilateral trading facility which has offered small and medium-sized companies access to the Oslo Stock Exchange since 2016. The company aims to raise NOK100 million ($10.9 million) through the initial public offering (IPO). The net proceeds will also be used for research and development, working capital and general corporate purposes, according to the company.

Ocean Sun has developed an innovative design for floating PV projects at near-shore locations and in semi-sheltered waters. The patented system consists of modified silicon solar modules installed on large floating structures. The modules are supported by a thin hydro-elastic membrane, preventing waves from breaking as well as saltwater intrusion – two challenges with solar plants on salt water.

The structures are built to withstand harsh conditions and the system is certified to withstand typhoon category 4 or winds up to 275 km/h, taking advantage of Norwegian expertise in maritime, photovoltaic and aluminium technology. The system is reviewed by DNV GL to be in conformance with the strict design guidelines originally developed for Norwegian fish farms.

Ocean Sun has installed several systems in Norwegian fjords, in Singaporean waters, and on the Magat Hydropower dam in the Philippines. In mid-July 2020, the company signed a deal to develop the pilot projects of the 2.1 GW floating solar site planned near the Saemangeum tidal flat, on the coast of the Yellow Sea. The agreement includes a technology license grant for a demonstration system with a follow-on option for a minimum of 100 MW of generation capacity within 18 months.

The company has an extensive IPR portfolio, which ensures low capital expenditure, optimal material usage and logistics, and industry-leading levelised cost of energy for the floating solar industry.

REGlobal’s Views: The market for floating solar on freshwater reservoirs is potentially on a TW scale, according to a 2018 report from the World Bank and Seris Singapore. Ocean Sun has is rapidly increasing its portfolio to strengthen its presence in the market. However, given the volatility in equity markets, only time will tell how the IPO will be received.