World’s first floating offshore wind farm starts generating electricity in Scotland

Hywind floating turbine at Buchan Deep, off Peterhead
A Hywind floating turbine at Buchan Deep, off Peterhead

The world’s first floating offshore wind farm has started delivering electricity to the UK grid from north-east Scotland.

The £200 million Hywind project, built by Norwegian oil company Statoil, comprises five turbines floating 15 miles off the coast of Peterhead, which is the local operations and maintenance base.

Some of the energy generated by the 30MW project will be stored in one of Statoil’s Batwind lithium devices, which can store 1 megawatt-hour of power.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, said: “This marks an exciting development for renewable energy in Scotland. Hywind will provide clean energy to over 20,000 homes and will help us meet our ambitious climate change targets.

“I’m pleased Scottish suppliers have contributed to the Hywind project from the development through to the production phase and are still involved to investigate long-term potential for floating wind.”

Nicola Sturgeon, MSP
Nicola Sturgeon, MSP

Furth of Scotland, floating turbines are expected to open the industry up to new markets like Japan and the US west coast where seabeds drop off steeply from the coast.

Wind energy is the cheapest form of new power generation and has the potential to provide 30% of Europe’s power by 2030, according to the Brussels-based Wind Europe trade association.

Irene Rummelhoff, executive vice-president of Statoil’s wind-power division, said: “Hywind can be used in water depths up to 800 meters, thus opening up areas that so far have been inaccessible for offshore wind.

“Our ambition is to reduce the costs of energy from the Hywind floating wind farm to £40-£60 per megawatt-hour by 2030.

“Knowing that up to 80 percent of the offshore wind resources are in deep waters where traditional bottom fixed installations are not suitable, floating offshore wind is expected to play a significant role in the growth of offshore wind going forward.”

19 Oct 2017

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