Five turbines have now been installed on floating foundations of the 30 MW Hywind Scotland project – the world’s largest floating wind farm.
And from a deep fjord on the west coast of Norway, the floating wind turbines will be towed to Scottish waters for anchoring at water depths between 90 and 120 meters 15 miles off Peterhead.
The floating foundations in the Hywind project are ballast-stabilized and anchored to the seabed with mooring lines. With their lightweight nacelles, the large direct drive wind turbines are particularly suited for floating foundations.
The Hywind concept has already proven its effectiveness in 2009, when Statoil and Siemens successfully installed a 2.3 MW Siemens Wind Power turbine at the first full-scale floating wind turbine project worldwide, Hywind Demo.
In the Scottish pilot project Siemens Gamesa and Statoil have been working close to develop a concept for commercial and large scale offshore wind parks which is cost efficient and with low risk.
The most important key success factor for the future of floating wind turbines is concepts which are cost (LCoE) competitive with bottom fixed foundations.
In collaboration with the turbine supplier, Statoil – the Norwegian oil company which is developing the project – aims to take a new step towards ‘unlocking offshore areas in the future and develop a niche into a large market’. A spokesman added: “
The majority of operating floating wind farms are currently located in Europe. However, California, Hawaii, Japan and Taiwan are attractive geographies for floating wind power turbines in the future.”
Why can’t Scotland do this. Or something similar?
Norway is the same size as Scotland and any private-sector oil company could have been ‘led’ by the Scot-Govt and its multi-headed economic development quango to partner up with Big Wind manufacturers (even if Scotland is ‘too poor, too stupid and too wee’ to do it for itself)?
Can anyone imagine the converse happening?
(eg ‘Scottish Oil’ – or some kind of Scottish renewable consortiuim – collaborates with an EU-based wind turbine manufacturer, designs the technology, builds the floating wind farm and then tows it by tug (are there any left?) across the North Sea to Norway…?
If you can answer ‘yes’ to this question, please send your answer on an e-postcard to:
Editor@ScottishEnergyNews.com and we’ll send it (confidentially) to the Scottish Energy Minister to mull over during his long, relaxing summer holidays..