Scotland is to be the site of the world’s largest floating wind farm, having received approval from its government for a wind farm with a generating capacity of 135GWh of electricity each year.
The floating wind farm is to be built by the energy company Statoil 25km off the coast of Peterhead with the aim of powering as many as nearly 20,000 homes in the region.
Compared with standard offshore wind projects, the Hywind Scotland development will pilot a park of five floating 6MW turbines, which will be attached to the seabed by a three-point mooring spread and anchoring system.
These turbines will then be connected by an inter-array of cables that will transport the electricity from the pilot park to shore at Peterhead.
The news comes amid encouraging times for the offshore wind energy industry with Denmark and the company Dong confirming their plans to build the world’s largest offshore wind farm in the Irish Sea.
The UK-based Carbon Trust has said that the floating windfarm concept could potentially reduce energy-generating costs to below £100 per MWh in commercial deployments or even lower to £85-£95 per MWh.
Statoil’s executive vice president for New Energy Solutions, Irene Rummelhoff, said of this new development: “Floating wind represents a new, significant and increasingly competitive renewable energy source.
“Statoil’s objective with developing this pilot park is to demonstrate a commercial, utility-scale floating wind solution, to further increase the global market potential. We are proud to develop this unique project in Scotland, in a region that has optimal wind conditions, a strong supply chain within oil and gas and supportive public policies.”
Hywind turbine image via L.C. Nøttaasen/Flickr