Tuesday, 11 December, 2018


World's first floating offshore wind farm begins operating

World's first floating offshore wind farm begins operating World's first floating offshore wind farm begins operating
Conrad Doyle | 18 October, 2017, 17:13

Nicola Sturgeon will formally open the world's first floating wind farm later. The Norwegian oil group developed the technology and now owns the wind farm together with Masdar after selling a 25% stake to the Abu Dhabi renewable energy company in early 2017.

Scottish Deputy First Minister John Swinney said "the ability to leverage existing infrastructure and supply chain capabilities from offshore oil and gas industry create the ideal conditions to position Scotland as a world leader in floating wind technology".

Paul Wheelhouse, Scottish Minister for Business, Innovation & Energy twitted that the power project, as a world first, will play a critical role in demonstrating the potential of floating wind in Scotland's deep waters. With a NOK 2 billion ($ 251 million) investment, the farm realized a 60-70% cost reduction per MW from the Hywind demo project in Norway with turbine power scale-up.

The 30-megawatt-(MW)-capacity project has been granted support under Britain's Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC) scheme, totalling 3.5 ROCs or around 140 pounds per MWh at the current ROC price of 40 pounds/MWh. The wind farm, which can be used at water depths of up to 800 meters, is operated by Statoil in partnership with Masdar.

Giles Dickson, chief executive of European wind industry advocacy body WindEurope, said the launch of Hywind Scotland "clearly shows that the technology is well past the R&D stage" and could provide "serious additionality" to the region's offshore wind build-out. The spar foundations, built at Navantia's yard in Fene, Spain, are shorter and slimmer - and less expensive - than the original hull, designed and fabricated by French contractor Technip at its Pori yard in Finland; and the turbine on the new model is nearly three times as powerful as the 2.3MW machine, also delivered by Siemens, that was used on the flagship unit.

The 30MW Hywind project, developed by Norwegian energy giant Statoil and Abu Dhabi green power company Masdar, will generate enough electricity for around 20,000 homes. This will help steady the flow of power generated by the wind farm. Offshore wind is optimal for 20-50 meters (66-154 feet) water depth, but is limited to 50-60 meters (154-197 feet).

The 172-metre turbines are positioned in water depths of up to 129m, however it is said they can operate in depths of 800m.

Floating wind can unlock deeper water sites for generating wind energy.

"Our unique offshore supply chain and the skillset it supports put us at the forefront of the deployment of these innovative machines", she stated.

It fears thousands of sea birds may be killed by offshore wind farms.

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