Hywind floating offshore wind farm opens

Image: Oyvind Gravas
Image: Oyvind Gravas

The world’s first floating wind farm, Hywind Scotland, has started to deliver electricity to the Scottish grid.

Officially opened by Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Statoil and Masdar’s offshore wind project is a 30-megawatt farm at Buchan Deep, 25 kilometres from Peterhead in Aberdeenshire.

The five turbines are 253 metres tall, with 78 metres submerged beneath the sea, anchored by cables to the sea bed to provide power to around 20,000 households.

“Hywind can be used for water depths up to 800 metres, thus opening up areas that so far have been inaccessible for offshore wind,” said Irene Rummelhoff, Executive Vice-President of Statoil’s New Energy Solutions business area.

The onshore operations and maintenance base for Hywind Scotland is located at Peterhead, while the operations centre is located in Great Yarmouth.

“As the windiest country in Europe, and with some of the deepest waters and most promising offshore wind sites, Scotland is perfectly placed to capitalise on floating turbine technology,” said Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables Claire Mack said.

Statoil and Masdar will also install Batwind, a 1MWh lithium battery storage solution for offshore wind energy.

“Knowing that up to 80 per cent of the offshore wind resources are in deep waters (+60 metres) 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,” said Rummelhoff.

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