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His Majesty the King visits Field Lab in the North Sea

25 augustus 2022

Today, His Majesty the King visited the North Sea. In the Field Lab, off the coast of Scheveningen, he visited the pilot with floating solar panels launched by Oceans of Energy.

Field Lab

The field lab is an area covering 10 x 10 nautical miles off the coast of Scheveningen where both short-term and long-term tests can be conducted. This ‘smartest area of the North Sea’ is used by technology developers to provide proof of concept to future clients and licensing bodies.

From the Campus@Sea Event Space, we had a front-row seat to watch the departure of the King on the Aqua Helix.

Photographer: Patrick van Katwijk

From left to right: Manon van Beek – Tennet, His Majesty the King, Lex de Groot – Neptune Energy

Photographer: Patrick van Katwijk

Work visit

The work visit started on the Q13a-A platform of Neptune Energy, where the green hydrogen pilot PosHYdon is being prepared. On an existing platform, offshore wind, offshore gas and green hydrogen production from sea water is being integrated. The green hydrogen is transported to land via an existing pipeline. TNO is involved in this as a knowledge partner and is conducting the test programme.  The lessons learned can be used in the further rollout and upgrading of offshore hydrogen production from offshore wind on the North Sea.

The King then visited one of TenneT’s transformer platforms from the Net op Zee project Hollands Kust Zuid (HKZ). This ‘power socket at sea’ transports the power generated in the similarly named wind farm to land via a cable in the seabed.

Floating solar panels

Not far from the Q13a-A platform was the next stop, where Oceans of Energy is testing floating solar panels. This offshore solar farm system is the first and only system in the world and has already survived several consecutive years with severe winter storms with high waves. The Netherlands does not have enough space on land available to use the energy from the sun which is necessary for the future energy mix of electrons and molecules. The Oceans of Energy pilot is a step towards the large-scale rollout at sea. In the future, floating solar farms will be integrated into wind farms and hydrogen factories on the North Sea.

Finally, the King talked to representatives from parties and organisations involved in the energy transition at sea including NVDE, NWEA, Stichting De Noordzee, EBN, Gasunie, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and the North Sea Consultation. During the discussions, the importance of system integration and national and international collaboration between different stakeholders was emphasised again. The parties also underlined the importance of the development of energy generation in a good balance with the nature value of the North Sea.

Fotograaf: Patrick van Katwijk

Aqua Helix

The King and his entourage travelled in the super-fast Aqua Helix, the new joint venture of Damen-Ampelmann. The 74-metre long Fast Crew Supplier (FCS) 7011 will soon be used from Den Helder for the transport of offshore employees. The FCS 7011 can reach a speed of 70 kilometres an hour and can carry 122 passengers.


Campus@Sea is one of the parties involved in the Field Lab in the North Sea. Campus@Sea brings together parties that are innovating on the North Sea and on the coast. It is not just a physical place in The Hague. Above all, it is a network of networks that drives sustainable innovation. Through meetings, experiments and demonstrations, innovations relating to the themes food, energy, safety & security, and sport are developed. Campus@Sea is an initiative of the province of South Holland, the Municipality of The Hague and a rapidly growing network of public and private partners.

Jan-Pierre Geelen