Scotland Floating Park produces Wind Power
The floating wind park in Scotland is producing it’s first energy.
October 18, the windpark called Hywind Scotland has officially been opened by Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
Fixed-bottom turbines can only be installed at water depths down to 40 meters, making them little use for the steeply shelved coastlines of the US west coast or Japan.
If you look at coastlines around the world, there’s few that have sufficient area at depths down to 40 meters so if they want to deploy offshore wind, they need to introduce floating wind. Floating windfarms could be placed farther out to sea to avoid the sort of aesthetic objections that scuppered a £3.5b windfarm off the Dorset coast.
The 30 megawatt (MW) Hywind Scotland floating offshore wind farm was first approved by the Scottish Government back in November of 2015, at which point Statoil was the project developer. Earlier this year, in January, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, Masdar, acquired a 25% stake in the project.
Located 25 kilometers off the coast of Peterhead in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, Hywind Scotland is made up of five 6 MW wind turbines which were constructed in Stord, Norway, before being towed to Scottish waters in June. At 30 MW, Hywind Scotland will provide the equivalent amount of electricity as that used by approximately 20,000 Scottish households.
Scotland is the windiest country in Europe with some of the deepest waters and promissing offshore wind sites. This wind park is a perfect pilot to prove wether floating wind parks are cost effective in order to capitalise on floating turbine technology all over the world.
The lessons learned and skillsets can be reused in further developments.
Floating offshore wind energy
“Hywind can be used for water depths up to 800 meters, thus opening up areas that so far have been inaccessible for offshore wind,” explained Irene Rummelhoff, executive vice president of the New Energy Solutions business area in Statoil. “The learnings from Hywind will pave the way for new global market opportunities for floating offshore wind energy.
Through their government’s support to develop the Hywind Scotland project, the UK and Scotland are now at the forefront of the development of this exciting new technology. Statoil looks forward to exploring the next steps for floating offshore wind.”
“I am delighted to open Hywind Scotland — the world’s first floating wind farm,” said the First Minister. “Hywind will provide clean energy to over twenty thousand homes and will help us meet our ambitious climate change targets.”
“This marks an exciting development for renewable energy for our country. Our support for floating offshore wind is testament to this government’s commitment to the development of this technology and, coupled with Statoil’s Battery Storage Project, Batwind, puts us at the forefront of this global race and positions Scotland as a world centre for energy innovation.”
Scotland aims to provide 50% renewable energy by 2030. And offshore wind is one of the most important sources for this windy country. Moreover, by demonstrating the commercial viability of floating wind, the country can help to develop the industry in new frontiers and deeper waters.
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