The Scottish Government has approved the construction of the world’s largest floating wind farm, to be developed by oil and gas giant Statoil.
The news was made simultaneously that the Scottish Government had approved consent for the construction, as Statoil made its own final investment decision to build the project — the Hywind pilot park, set to be located offshore Peterhead in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
The project will consist of five 6 MW turbines installed at Buchan Deep, approximately 25 kilometers offshore from Peterhead. Upon completion, which is expected sometime late in 2017, the wind farm will generate the equivalent electricity necessary to power around 20,000 households.
“Statoil is proud to develop the world’s first floating wind farm,” said Irene Rummelhoff, Statoil’s executive vice president for New Energy Solutions. “Our objective with the Hywind pilot park is to demonstrate the feasibility of future commercial, utility-scale floating wind farms. This will further increase the global market potential for offshore wind energy, contributing to realising our ambition of profitable growth in renewable energy and other low-carbon solutions.”
The Hywind project will differ somewhat from other, more traditional floating wind farm designs, as it is designed to be deployed at locations further offshore, to make the most of the stronger wind speeds. Subsequently, the Hywind project must make their turbines tough enough and stable enough to withstand stronger and deadlier offshore sea conditions.
“Hywind is a hugely exciting project – in terms of electricity generation and technology innovation – and it’s a real testament to our energy sector expertise and skilled workforce that Statoil chose Scotland for the world’s largest floating wind farm,” said John Swinney, Scotland’s Deputy First Minister.
“The momentum is building around the potential for floating offshore wind technology to unlock deeper water sites. The ability to leverage existing infrastructure and supply chain capabilities from the offshore oil and gas industry create the ideal conditions to position Scotland as a world leader in floating wind technology.”
Image Credit: via Statoil Flickr